Monthly Archives: July 2012

Hot 100 – A to Z

  1. Aaron Twitchen: Quarter Life Crisis. Comedy. 7:00pm. Southsider/4-25 Aug. FREE. lgbt. AW
  2. Al Pitcher: Tiny Triumphs. Comedy. 8:15pm. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug. £8.50-£10.50. JFS
  3. Alternative Sex Education. Cabaret. 8:30pm. The Bongo Club/3-17 Aug. £6.50-£9.50. lgbt. AC
  4. Andrew Doyle: Whatever it Takes. Comedy. 8:00pm. Just the Tonic at the Coves/2-26 Aug (not 14). £6.50-£7.50. lgbt. MW
  5. Andrew O’Neill is Easily Distracted. 10:45pm. Pleasance Courtyard/1-27 Aug (not 8 & 14). £9.50-£12. lgbt. MW
  6. Bob Downe: Smokin’. Comedy. 8:00pm. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug (not 14 & 23). £10.50-£14. lgbt. AW
  7. Bowling & Todd +1. Comedy. 1:20pm. Cabaret Voltaire/4-25 Aug. FREE. AM
  8. Boy in a Dress. Theatre. 4:20pm. Stand Comedy Club 3/2-26 Aug (not 13). £10. lgbt. AC
  9. Bridget Christie: War Donkey. Comedy. 1:30pm. The Assembly Rooms/3-26 Aug (not 13). £9-£10. MW
  10. Briefs. Cabaret. 11:15pm. Underbelly, Bristo Square/1-27 Aug (not 15). £9-£15. lgbt. AC
  11. Carl-Einar Häckner: HandLuggage. Comedy. 7:30pm. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-27 Aug (not 13). £8.50-£10.50. JF
  12. Confessions of a Grindr Addict. Theatre. 9:00pm. Assembly Hall/2-26 Aug (not 13). £10-£12. lgbt. AW
  13. Confessions of Old Lady #2. Cabaret. 1:35pm. Paradise in The Vault/14-27 Aug (not 20). FREE. AM
  14. Constant Craving (Sarah Archer). Comedy. 4:00pm. Espionage/3-26 Aug (not 4, 11, 18 & 25). FREE. lgbt.  MW
  15. Contains Spoilers. Dance. 2:30pm. Zoo Southside. 3-11 Aug. £10. TC
  16. Craig Hill: Jock’s Trap. Comedy. 7:30pm. Underbelly Bristo Square/2-27 Aug (not 13 & 20). £11-£14.50. lgbt.  JFS
  17. Crypted. Theatre. 2:00pm. C nova/2-26 Aug (not 13). £6.50-£10.50. lgbt.  TC
  18. Dana Alexander: Breaking Through. Comedy. 10:35pm. Underbelly Bristo Square/1-27 Aug (not 13). £8.50-£10.50. MW
  19. Daniel-Ryan Spaulding: How Dare You! Comedy. 4:00pm. The Hudson Hotel/4-25 Aug (not 10 & 11). FREE. lgbt.  AW
  20. David Mills is Smart Casual. Comedy. 3:45pm. The Hive/2-27 Aug. FREE. lgbt. MG
  21. DeAnne Smith: Livin’ the Sweet Life. Comedy. 7:30pm. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-27 Aug (not 14). £8-£10. lgbt. SA
  22. Desperately Seeking the Exit. Theatre. 6:00pm. Edinburgh City Football Club/2-26 (not 13). FREE. lgbt. MW
  23. Dirty Blood. Theatre. 6:35pm. theSpace on North Bridge/3-18 Aug (not 5 & 12). £6-£8. lgbt.  TC
  24. Dorothy Squires: Mrs Roger Moore. Cabaret. 12:45pm Gilded Balloon Teviot/12-27 Aug (not 20). £7-£10. lgbt. MW
  25. Dusty Limits: Post-Mortem. Cabaret. 8:15pm. The Counting House/2-19 Aug (not 6 & 13). FREE. lgbt. MW
  26. EastEnd Cabaret: Notoriously Kinky. Cabaret. 8:50pm. Underbelly Cowgate/2-26 Aug (not 13). £9-£11. AW
  27. Edward Reid: Living the Dream One Song at a Time. 6:15pm. Cabaret. Assembly George Square/2-15 £9.50-£11.50. NS
  28. Erpingham Camp. Theatre. 4pm. theSpace on Niddry St/3-25 (odd numbered dates only). £8.50-£10.
  29. An Evening With Samantha. Cabaret. 7:45pm. The Street/4-25 Aug (not 8, 14 & 20). FREE. lgbt. MW
  30. Excess. Theatre. 5:25pm. C nova/2-26 Aug (not 13). £7.50-£10.50. lgbt. TC
  31. Flash Mob. Dance. 6:00pm. Assembly Hall/2-27 Aug (not 14). £12-£17.50. MW
  32. Friday Fundraiser. Cabaret. 8:00pm. New Town Bar/3, 10, 17, 24 Aug. FREE. lgbt. MW
  33. Gay Straight Alliance. Comedy. 12 Midnight. The Pheonix/19-26 Aug. FREE. lgbt. NS
  34. Ginge, the Geodie & the Geek. Comedy. 4:45pm & 7:45pm. Just the Tonic at The Caves/2-26 Aug (not 14). £8.50-£12. NS
  35. Going Green the Wong Way. 7:00pm. Theatre/Venue 13. 19-25 Aug. £5-£8. lgbt. MW
  36. Hairy Pretty Things. Cabaret. 5:30pm. Fingers Piano Bar/4-25 Aug (not 6, 13 & 20). FREE. lgbt. MW
  37. Hannah Gadsby: Hannah Wants a Wife. Comedy. 8:10pm. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug (not 13). £8.50-£10.50. lgbt. JFS
  38. Hannah Gadsby: Mary. Contrary. Comedy. 2:00pm. Gilded Balloon Teviot/2-26 Aug (not 6-8, 13-15, & 20-22). £8.50-£10.50. lgbt. JFS
  39. Hard Core Pawn, with Mick, Lewis & Shaun. Theatre. 9:05pm. theSpace on the Mile/3rd-8th Aug (not 5). £5. lgbt. MW
  40. Hi-de-Homo! Musical. 7:35pm. C Chambers St/12-18 Aug. £5.50-£11.50. lgbt. AC
  41. Holly Burn: The H Club. Comedy. 4:40pm. Just the Tonic at The Caves/2-26 Aug (not 14). £6-£8. JFS
  42. James Acaster – Prompt. Comedy. 8:15pm. Pleasance Courtyard/1-26 Aug. £8.50-£12.
  43. Jen Brister: Now & Then. Comedy. 7:35pm. Just the Tonic at The Caves/2-26 Aug (not 14). £7-£10. lgbt. MW
  44. Jim Jefferies: Fully Functional. Comedy. 9:00pm. The Assembly Hall/2-26 Aug (not 13). £15-£17.50. MW
  45. Jo Caulfield: Thinking Bad Thoughts. Comedy. 8:15pm. Stand Comedy Club1/1-26 Aug (not 13). £9-£10. MW
  46. Jonny Woo: Wonder Woo-Man. Cabaret. 10:30pm.  Assembly George Square/1-26 Aug (not 13). £10-£12.50. lgbt. MG
  47. Josie Long: Romance & Adventure. Comedy. 6:00pm. Pleasance Courtyard/1-27 Aug (not 18 & 19). £10-£12.50. MG
  48. Julius Caesar: Losing Your Head in Egypt. Musical. 3:45pm. C Chambers St/15-18 Aug. £7.50-£10.50. lgbt. NS
  49. Kelly Kingham: Goody Two Shoes. Comedy. 1:30pm. The Royal Mile Tavern/4-25 Aug. FREE. lgbt. AW
  50. Kev Orkian in Concert: The World’s Favourite Foreigner. Comedy. 8:10pm. theSpace @ Symposium Hall/13-25 Aug.£8-£10. NS
  51. Knickerbocker Glory! Cabaret. 10:10pm. SpaceCabaret @ 54/3-25 Aug. £8-£10. MW
  52. Lady Boys of Bangkok: Carnival Queens Tour. Cabaret. Various Times. Meadows Theatre Big Top/4-26 Aug £15-£25. lgbt. NS
  53. Lady Celeste: Exploring Down Under! Cabaret. 6:30pm. The Street/4-14 Aug. FREE. lgbt. MW
  54. Liz Lochead: Making Nothing Happen. Spoken Word. 1:15pm. The Assembly Rooms/2-26 Aug (not 13). £9-£10. CF
  55. Locked In. Theatre. 12:50pm. theSpace@Surgeons Hall/13-25 Aug (not 19).£7-£10. lgbt. AC
  56. Loud & Proud Choir. Music. 8:30pm. Stockbridge Parish Church/25 Aug. £9-£12. lgbt. MW
  57. Lucy Porter: People Person. Comedy. 5:15pm. Stand Comedy Club1/3-26 Aug (not 13 & 20). £9-£10. MW
  58. Luke Wright: Your New Favourite Poet. 6:30pm. Spoken Word. Underbelly Cowgate/22-26 Aug. £9-£11. MW
  59. Made For Each Other. Theatre. 4:50pm. Bar 50/15-26 Aug. FREE. lgbt. AW & NS
  60. Mae Day (Mae Martin). Comedy. 4:00pm. Just the Tonic at the Caves/2-26 Aug (not 14). £7-£8. lgbt. JFS
  61. Magic Faraway Cabaret. Cabaret. 10:50pm. The Voodoo Rooms/4-25 Aug (not 13). FREE. lgbt. MW
  62. Marple, Murder & Me. Theatre. 3:15pm. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug (not 13 & 20). £8.50-£10.50. AM
  63. Michael Pope is Gay for Pay. Comedy. 10:45pm. The Phoenix/2-26 Aug (not 5, 8, 15, & 22). FREE. lgbt. AW
  64. Michael Workman: Mercy. Comedy. 6:15pm. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug (not 13). £8-£10. MG
  65. Michelle de Swarte. Comedy. 4:50pm. Belushi’s/4-25 Aug (not 15). FREE. lgbt. MG
  66. Mickey & Judy. Cabaret. 8:05pm. Space Cabaret @ 54/3-25 Aug (not 5, 12 & 19). £8-£10. lgbt. NS
  67. Milo McCabe: Kenny Moon This is Your Life. Comedy. 5:35pm. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug (not 13). £7.50-£10. MW
  68. Mister Meredith’s Christmas Crack. 8:00pm. Cabaret. Le Monde/4-25 Aug (not 13). FREE. lgbt. MW
  69. Mitch Benn: Reduced Circumstances. Comedy. 3pm. Stand Comedy Club3/3-26 Aug (not 13). £10. MW
  70. Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory. Musical. 4:45pm. The Assembly Rooms/1-26 Aug (not 14 & 21). £12-£15. MW
  71. Monstrous Acts. Theatre. 9:30pm. C Aquila/2-27 Aug (not 13 & 20). £6.50-£10.50. lgbt. AC
  72. Mr Braithwaite Has a New Boy. Theatre. 6:25pm. C Aquila/2-27 Aug (not 13 or 20). £7.50-£11.50. lgbt. AC
  73. News at Kate 2012. Comedy. 8:20pm. Ciao Roma/4-25 Aug (not 14). FREE. NS
  74. Nggrfg. Theatre. 7:20pm. theSpace on the Mile/3-18 Aug (not 5 & 12). £5-£7. lgbt. TC
  75. Other Voices: Alternative Spoken Word Cabaret. Spoken Word. 2:50pm. Banshee Labyrinth/4-25 Aug (not 8, 15 & 22). FREE. MW
  76. Otto Kuhnle: Ich Bin Ein Berliner. Comedy. 4:40pm. Assembly George Square/2-26 Aug (not 14). £7.50-£10.50. MW
  77. Outward Bound. Theatre. 3:20pm. theSpace@Surgeons Hall/2-11 Aug (not 5). £6-£8. lgbt. MW
  78. Overexposed: A Slightly Awkward Peep Show. 6:40pm. Comedy. Fingers Piano Bar/4-18 Aug (not 6, 13 & 14). FREE. lgbt. AW
  79. Panga. Theatre. 8:30pm. Hill Street Theatre/2-26 Aug (not 14). £9-£13. MW
  80. Paul Foot: Kenny Larch is Dead. Comedy. 7:30pm. Underbelly, Cowgate/2-26 Aug (not 15). £9.50-£12. lgbt. MW
  81. Rookie Mistakes (Ethan Addie). Comedy. 6:30pm. The Street/15-25 Aug. FREE. lgbt. AW
  82. Rosie Wilby: How (Not) To Make It In Britpop. Theatre. 2:30pm. The Bongo Club/10-14 Aug. £6-£8. lgbt. MW
  83. Sandi Toksvig Live: My Valentine. Comedy. 2:00pm. Pleasance Courtyard/17-23 Aug. £13-£14. lgbt. SA
  84. Scott Agnew: Tales of the Sauna. Comedy. 11:40pm. Stand Comedy Club4/2-26 Aug (not 13). £6-£8. Lgbt. NS
  85. Sharron Matthews Superstar: Gold. Comedy. 3:40pm. Pleasance Courtyard. 1-27Aug (not 6, 13 & 20). £11-£14. MW
  86. Simon Amstell: Numb. Comedy. 8:30pm. The Bongo Club/20-26 Aug. £15-£16.50. lgbt. NS
  87. Slice by Mel Giedroyc. Theatre. 1:00pm. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-27 Aug (not 13 & 20). £8-£10. JFS
  88. Splitting the Bill: Michael Workman & Tommy Little. Comedy. 10:45pm. Gilded Balloon/4-26 Aug (not 13). £8.50-£10.50. MG
  89. Stephen Bailey & Zoe Iqbal: Subject to Change. Comedy. 8:35pm.  Bar 50/3-12 Aug. FREE. lgbt. NS
  90. Stephen K Amos: Work in Progress. Comedy. 9:15pm. Stand Comedy Club3/2-26 Aug (not 8, 13, 14, 20, & 21). £10. lgbt. MW
  91. Stewart Lee: Carpet Remnant World. Comedy. 6:05pm. The Assembly Rooms/2-26 Aug (not 13 & 20). £12-£15. MW
  92. Strange Hungers. Theatre. 4:00pm. Summerhall/18-19 Aug. £6-£10. lgbt. SA
  93. Strip Search. Theatre. 11:05pm. SpaceCabaret@54/3-25 Aug (not 5 & 19). £8-£12. lgbt. MW
  94. Sunday Fundraiser. Cabaret. 4:00pm. New Town Bar/5, 12, 19 & 26 Aug. FREE. lgbt. MW
  95. Susan Calman: This Lady’s Not for Turning Either. Comedy. 6:00pm. Underbelly, Bristo Square/1-27 Aug (not 13). £10-£12. lgbt. MW
  96. Suzi Ruffell: Let’s Get Ready to Ruffell. Comedy. 6:00pm. Pleasance Courtyard/1-26 Aug (not 13). £8-£11. lgbt. SA
  97. Tenderpits. Theatre. 9:30pm. Underbelly Cowgate/2-26 Aug (not 13). £8.50-£10.50. lgbt. MW
  98. Three Tall Women. Theatre. 8:05pm. theSpace@Venue45/4, 6, 8 &10 Aug. £6-£8. lgbt. TC
  99. Twentysomething. Theatre. 6:25pm. Spotlites @ Merchants’ Hall/2-19 Aug. £6-£8. lgbt. MW
  100. Who’s Your Daddy? Theatre. 10:30pm. Assembly Hall/2-26 Aug (not 13). £11-£12. lgbt. MW
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


HOT 100 Noon – 4pm

12:45pm Dorothy Squires: Mrs Roger Moore. Cabaret. Gilded Balloon Teviot/12-27 Aug (not 20). £7-£10. lgbt

The legend that is Al Pillay (The Comic Strip Presents…) stars as Dorothy Squires: one of the biggest recording stars of the 1950s, and wife to the future 007. Her hits, Say It with Flowers, Till, The Gypsy, My Way (second only to Sinatra‘s). Her heartaches, a life of litigation, disaster and rancorous relationships. As Mrs Roger Moore, her own worst enemy. Now the fabulous legend of Welsh-born Dorothy lives on. GET TICKETS


12:50pm. Locked In. Theatre. theSpace@Surgeons Hall/13-25 Aug (not 19).£7-£10. lgbt

Locked In is based on the journals of Keith Vaughan (1912-77), a great British painter and friend of the likes of Hockney, Sutherland and Bacon. His diaries are vivid, funny, angry, erotic, despairing. Whether Vaughan is rescuing wounded soldiers in an air raid, standing trial as a spy, having a holiday fling with a sexy young Mexican, writing to the Times about the joys of pornography, or demolishing the claims of pretentious conceptual artists, in this play you are always right there with him.  GET TICKETS


1:00pm. Slice by Mel Giedroyc. Theatre. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-27 Aug (not 13 & 20). £8-£10.

The relationship between mothers, daughters and sisters can be more complicated and subtle than the recipes passed between them. Three sisters convene in the kitchen while their mother is in a coma in the next room. Slice by Mel Giedroyc  is a sweet, darkly comic tale about how a tragedy and baked goods can bring a disparate family back together. Taking her first foray into playwriting, Mel Giedroyc is better known as the comedy partner of Sue Perkins. Gilded Balloon Teviot/4-27 Aug. 1pm.  GET TICKETS


1:15pm. Liz Lochead: Making Nothing Happen. Spoken Word. The Assembly Rooms/2-26 Aug (not 13). £9-£10.

Scotland’s Makar and veteran Fringe performer appears in a celebration of the word. Poems, monologues, characters, lyrics and theatre pieces. And, daily, a guest artist – a song, a wee bit of music – from a friend in town today. GET TICKETS


1:20pm. Bowling & Todd +1. Comedy. Cabaret Voltaire/4-25 Aug. FREE.

Next we have a great opportunity to see excellent young comedians, Bekka Bowling and Shane Todd, plus one surprise star guest in every show.  Better yet, Bowling and Todd +1 is totally free! Definitely worth checking out.


1:30pm. Bridget Christie: War Donkey. Comedy. The Assembly Rooms/3-26 Aug (not 13). £9-£10.

Bridget Christie returns to the Fringe at the new Ass Rooms, with a show that sounds more bonkers than ever. Entitled, War Donkey, expect some sharp satirical edges hidden around the delightful silliness.  GET TICKETS


1:30pm. Kelly Kingham: Goody Two Shoes. Comedy. The Royal Mile Tavern/4-25 Aug. FREE. lgbt

Writer of the rather marvellous musical fringe hit, JUMP, Kelly Kingham returns to Edinburgh with a solo stand-up show. The fact that the Free Fringe can attract comedians of this calibre has got to be welcomed.


1:35pm. Confessions of Old Lady #2. Cabaret. Paradise in The Vault/14-27 Aug (not 20). FREE.

Confessions of Old Lady #2 features actress, Joan Shepard, in a side-splitting account of her life in the theatre, featuring, among others, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Talullah Bankhead, Dame Judith Anderson, Ethel Waters and Lenny Bruce. Laced with witty songs (orchestra on tape) this hour-long never-before-seen enthralling glimpse into theatrical high (and low) jinks will leave you breathless with laughter. FREE


2:00pm. Crypted. Theatre. C nova/2-26 Aug (not 13). £6.50-£10.50. lgbt

‘Negative Capability’ presents a double bill by Royal Shakespeare Company prize-winning writer Freddy Syborn. The fist is Crypted – a tragedy based on the life of Alan Turing, the gay Bletchley Park code breaker chemically castrated by the British government. The second is, Excess – see 5:25pm.  GET TICKETS


2:00pm. Hannah Gadsby: Mary. Contrary. Comedy. Gilded Balloon Teviot/2-26 Aug (not 6-8, 13-15, & 20-22). £8.50-£10.50. lgbt

She had a famous son and has been paparazzied by painters for centuries since. Comedian Hannah Gadsby takes you on an historical art tour of the many faces of everyone’s favourite alleged virgin. GET TICKETS


2:00pm. Sandi Toksvig Live: My Valentine. Comedy. Pleasance Courtyard/17-23 Aug. £13-£14. lgbt

Possibly the most famous Scandinavian lesbian comedian, novelist and actor in the world – Sandi Toksvig, is appearing in Edinburgh as part of her first major UK tour.  A uniquely witty afternoon of stand-up, stories and fascinating facts is promised. GET TICKETS


2:30pm. Contains Spoilers. Dance. Zoo Southside. 3-11 Aug. £10.

An obsessed photographer and an unhinged widow – a twisted love story. TrashDollys, an untypical duo, weave a layered retelling of desire through an intriguing mix of image and dance. They reveal to us the nature of that exquisite void. A perfect combination of photos are gathered throughout 50 minutes of enthralling performance, to be joined in the end to give a direct glimpse into the duo’s true motives. This show may contain spoilers. GET TICKETS


2:30pm. Rosie Wilby: How (Not) To Make It In Britpop. Theatre. The Bongo Club/10-14 Aug. £6-£8. lgbt

From playing Glastonbury and Ronnie Scott’s to miming on children’s television, musician turned comedian Rosie Wilby looks back at the emotional roller-coaster of chasing stardom at the heady height of Britpop in a reworked version of her acclaimed 2011 Edinburgh Fringe show. Mixing stand-up, storytelling and songs, How (Not) To Make It In Britpop delves into a personal treasure trove of old photos, fan letters, reviews and her published diaries to investigate the nature of nostalgia. The Bongo Club/10-14 Aug. 2:30pm. GET TICKETS


2:50pm. Other Voices: Alternative Spoken Word Cabaret. Spoken Word. Banshee Labyrinth/4-25 Aug (not 8, 15 & 22). FREE.

This show brings you open-hearted open mic, feature sets from spoken word stars, and special guests daily, with a sumptuous cabaret vibe. Every show showcases a whirlwind of wit and panache; you’ll laugh, sigh, groan, and dance with delight. And there’ll be open mic spots just for you – book in advance or sign up on the door. With an array of magnificent women and their guests bringing you the best of spoken word on the scene today, we urge you to come and hear some wonderful words from the other side of the door.


3:00pm. Mitch Benn: Reduced Circumstances. Comedy. Stand Comedy Club3/3-26 Aug (not 13). £10.

The world is shrinking, the economy’s shrinking and comic songwriter Mitch Benn is shrinking. In Jan 2011 he weighed 25 stone (that’s 350lb if you’re American and 160kg if you’re properly foreign). By last year’s Edinburgh Fringe he had lost ten stone. How did he do it? Where’s it gone? How the hell did he reach 25 stone in the first place? And the real question; what will he (and we) do now? Music. Mirth. Morbid obesity. GET TICKETS


3:15pm. Marple, Murder & Me. Theatre. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug (not 13 & 20). £8.50-£10.50.

Margaret Rutherford never even wanted to take on the role of Miss Marple, for which she won an Oscar. Legendary mystery author Agatha Christie never thought Miss Marple should have been taken to the screen at all, especially not by the comic talent Rutherford. What scandal was uncovered that lead them putting aside their differences to eventually develop a touching friendship? Come and unearth the mystery behind the mystery in Marple, Murder and Me. Performed by Janet Price and directed by Stella Duffy GET TICKETS


3:20pm. Outward Bound. Theatre. theSpace@Surgeons Hall/2-11 Aug (not 5). £6-£8. lgbt

Our old Friends at the ‘About Turn Theatre Company’ return with Outward Bound by Michele Flatto and Dan Hyde. What makes a gay man and Jewish woman spend the night together? Forced to explore new terrain with Thermos and Tupperware, The Vagina Monologues meets Brokeback Mountain in this new play exploring growing up, coming out and moving on. The play tackles how the education system copes with homosexuality and how people cope with getting older and wiser…  GET TICKETS


3:40pm. Sharron Matthews Superstar: Gold. Comedy. Pleasance Courtyard. 1-27Aug (not 6, 13 & 20). £11-£14.

After two years of sell-out shows and five-star reviews, the undisputed queen of comedy cabaret returns to rock Edinburgh to its foundations! The European premiere of Gold mixes Matthews’ unique style of comedy with her stunning mash ups by artists such as Queen, Lady Gaga, and more. The result is always hysterical, heart-wrenching, shocking and gold. GET TICKETS


3:45pm. David Mills is Smart Casual. Comedy. The Hive/2-27 Aug. FREE. lgbt

Droll raconteur and 2011 Hackney Empire New Act of the Year, David Mills is known for razor-sharp, hilarious banter, cutting commentary and stylish delivery. Ruthless, hysterical rants delivered with acidic precision and spiked glee. In 2011 he was the regular sidekick on Scott Capurro’s chat show.


3:45pm. Julius Caesar: Losing Your Head in Egypt. Musical. C Chambers St/15-18 Aug. £7.50-£10.50. lgbt

Baroque music and characters from ancient history, seen through the pink eyes of a gay choir! The highlights of Handel’s famous opera are condensed to this extraordinary and spectacular version by composer Alexander Strauch. He created a clever blend of original and contemporary choral and piano music, containing elements of baroque, avant-garde and Egyptian pop. GET TICKETS


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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Hot 100 4pm – 6pm

4:00pm. Constant Craving (Sarah Archer). Comedy. Espionage/3-26 Aug (not 4, 11, 18 & 25). FREE. lgbt

The openly lesbian comedian, Sarah Archer, says she has a Head’s award from middle school, a celebrity nose and some funny stories – but she’s still craving! In the show Constant Craving, she takes a look at the malaise of the modern world.


4:00pm. Daniel-Ryan Spaulding: How Dare You! Comedy. The Hudson Hotel/4-25 Aug (not 10 & 11). FREE. lgbt

Touring the world as a young, openly gay comic, Daniel-Ryan Spaulding has let go of his humble, soft-spoken Canadian upbringing, awakening his inner badass! Media, celebrity, sex, politics – nothing is off limits! He’s outspoken, he’s lovable, and has perfected the art of the Sassy Snap! He’s performed in 22 countries worldwide, entertaining audiences with his unique brand of polite brutality.


4:00pm. The Erpingham Camp. Theatre. theSpace on Niddry St/3-25 (odd numbered dates only). £8.50-£10.

The Erpingham Camp by Joe Orton is directed by Hamish MacDougall. It is set in a Butlins’ type holiday camp and is a riotous depiction of life suppressed by the demonic and evil camp ruler Erpingham. Sam Adamson (Erpingham) and Sean Delaney (a revolutionary Irish Redcoat Riley) lead the cast of 9.  This was Orton’s most political play. GET TICKETS



4:00pm. Mae Day (Mae Martin). Comedy. Just the Tonic at the Caves/2-26 Aug (not 14). £7-£8. lgbt

Fresh from becoming the winner of the Best International Act at the Brighton Fringe this year is Canadian Mae Martin. Unbelievably, at the age of 23 she’s already celebrating a decade of ‘doing comedy’. She’s very funny, and her tomboy good looks make her extremely popular with gay ladies… nice.  GET TICKETS


4:00pm. Sunday Fundraiser. Cabaret. New Town Bar/5, 12, 19 & 26 Aug. FREE. lgbt

The rather unimaginatively titled Friday and Sunday Fundraisers do exactly what they say in the title – helping raise money for Scottish sexual health outfit, Waverely Care.  Coordinator, Stephen Martin is keeping tight lipped about the line up for now, but judging by previous years we can expect the cream of the Fringe. And it’s free. We’ll see you there!


4:00pm. Strange Hungers. Theatre. Summerhall/18-19 Aug. £6-£10. lgbt

For more funny theatre check out Strange Hungers, – a self described ‘grubby lesbo freakshow’. Originally devised for Glasgow’s Glasgay! Festival, it’s a joyous deconstruction of lesbian identity, stereotyping and representation throughout history – wrapped up in an energetic, interactive performance that skews the lines between theatre, live art and cabaret. GET TICKETS


4:20pm. Boy in a Dress. Theatre. Stand Comedy Club 3/2-26 Aug (not 13). £10. lgbt

Boy in a Dress is the story of a third-gendered, fallen Catholic, ex-catwalk model from the wrong side of the tracks. The play combines monologue, song, striptease, postmodern philosophy and vaudeville, and explores gender, class, religion and identity. GET TICKETS


4:30pm. The Lady Boys of Bangkok: Carnival Queens Tour. Cabaret. Meadows Theatre Big Top/4-26 Aug (Sat/Sun). £15-£25. lgbt

The Lady Boys of Bangkok are an entertainment institution like no other. Pulsating with latin beats of fiesta, infused with chart-topping sounds. Add laughter, surprises and you have the unforgettable party that is the lady boys, returning with their new show as part of the Carnival Queens tour. Comedy cabaret at its most magnificent!


4:40pm. Holly Burn: The H Club. Comedy. Just the Tonic at The Caves/2-26 Aug (not 14). £6-£8.

Bonkers Geordie comic Holly Burn is one of the most refreshing acts on the fringe. She may not be to everyone’s taste, but thank God for that. She’s a genuine original – unpredictable, inexplicable, but funny as hell. Make her show a priority. GET TICKETS


4:40pm. Otto Kuhnle: Ich Bin Ein Berliner. Comedy. Assembly George Square/2-26 Aug (not 14). £7.50-£10.50

Berliner, Otto Kuhnle has survived the wild punk and squatter era of the 80s, has seen the Berlin Wall fall and is now witnessing his old run-down district Neukölln changing into a trendy area. Five years ago, in his street you still got paid to live in one of the flats. Now they rent the same hovels to hipsters from all over the world at exorbitant prices… that they still find really cheap. Join Malcolm Hardee Award Winner and Henning Wehn’s partner in German Humour as he makes his solo début at The Fringe, in an hour of Teutonic mirth, music and yes – gnome juggling.  GET TICKETS


4:45pm. The Ginge, the Geodie & the Geek. Comedy. Just the Tonic at The Caves/2-26 Aug (not 14). £8.50-£12.

The Ginge, the Geodie and the Geek are working hard this Fringe. Graeme Rooney, Paul Charlton and Kevin O’Loughlin return to Edinburgh for a forth year, (fresh from filming their new BBC pilot) to bring you a brand new hour of truly uplifting silliness, surrealism and 80’s anthems. Performing the show twice daily there’s now no excuse to miss the biggest selling sketch show at the Fringe. GET TICKETS


4:45pm. Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory. Musical. The Assembly Rooms/1-26 Aug (not 14 & 21). £12-£15.

The whole town gets an unexpected makeover when a stranger arrives on Mammary Lane in this musical comedy by Paul Boyd. Join the good shopkeepers of Little Happening as they plot to get a few things off their chests. Heavily laden with big laughs, catchy songs, and leaky implants, Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory sticks a finely-tuned musical hypodermic firmly into the bosom of today’s surgery-obsessed culture. A must see for fans of The Rocky Horror Show, Jerry Springer: the Opera, or Avenue Q. GET TICKETS


4:50pm. Made For Each Other. Theatre. Bar 50/15-26 Aug. FREE. lgbt

Monica Bauer’s, Made for Each Other, has somehow managed to be the only play about same-sex marriage on the Fringe. This comedy drama about love, loss and Alzheimer’s disease is part of the Free Fringe, so there really is no excuse for missing it. “You are cordially invited to Vincent and Jerry’s wedding. If they go through with it”.


4:50pm. Michelle de Swarte. Comedy. Belushi’s/4-25 Aug (not 15). FREE. lgbt

Brixton born Michelle de Swarte will be making her Edinburgh hour début this year. Brace yourself for the new girl in town, this is one woman you won’t forget in a hurry. Her material takes you to the brutally honest edge of lesbian sex, race getting too PC and life as a high end model – not forgetting her fall on a Gucci catwalk three times! Michelle’s comedic tone is refreshingly brash, outspoken and stronger in tone than any man on the circuit as she breathes new life into ‘funny women’. GET TICKETS


5:15pm. Lucy Porter: People Person. Comedy. Stand Comedy Club1/3-26 Aug (not 13 & 20). £9-£10.

If Kylie were a stand-up comic, she would be Lucy Porter. Not only is Porter of a, ahem, similar height, but more importantly, her act has made her into a gay icon. The reason? Behind those impossibly good looks (she doesn’t seem to age) is a strong women with real talent. Don’t underestimate her; she has one of the best delivered sets around.   GET TICKETS


5:25pm. Excess. Theatre. C nova/2-26 Aug (not 13). £7.50-£10.50. lgbt

‘Negative Capability’ presents a double bill by Royal Shakespeare Company prize-winning writer Freddy Syborn. The fist is Crypted – at  2pm. The second is, Excess – When Joe tells his sister he’s getting a sex change,  she overreacts – a comedy about siblings, sexual identity, drag queens and isolation…  GET TICKETS


5:30pm. Hairy Pretty Things. Cabaret. Fingers Piano Bar/4-25 Aug (not 6, 13 & 20). FREE. lgbt

You’ve heard of burlesque, but have you heard of bearlesque ….? Hairy Pretty Things Dave the Bear and ‘close friend’ Mister Meredith return to the Edinburgh Festival, this time hairier (thanks to Regaine), prettier (thanks to surgery), and thingier (thanks for nothing) than ever. Combining naughty, seductive blues and hip hop covers and hairy, smoky original jazz and R‘n’B songs with award-winning (Berlin) comedy


5:35pm. Milo McCabe: Kenny Moon This is Your Life. Comedy. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug (not 13). £7.50-£10.

What’s it like being the son of a comedian? Character comic Milo McCabe presents a funny and moving show based around the life of his father, old school comic and New Faces finalist, Mike. Milo plays different people from his Dad’s past in an idiosyncratic show that examines the changing nature of British comedy since the seventies, as well as the issue of having a comedian for a father.  GET TICKETS


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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Hot 100 6pm – 8pm

6:00pm. Desperately Seeking the Exit. Theatre. Edinburgh City Football Club/2-26 (not 13). FREE. lgbt

In 2007, American writer/performer Peter Michael Marino wrote a musical based on the American film Desperately Seeking Susan, featuring the music of Blondie. It opened on London’s West End … and closed a month later. Whoops! Desperately Seeking the Exit offers a comical, tell-all, behind-the-scenes peek at how this £4m musical was made and unmade: hatching the idea, the deals with MGM, Debbie Harry and even Madonna, the workshops, the previews, the scathing reviews and the closing night. Once you’re in, there’s no way out!


6:00pm. Flash Mob. Dance. Assembly Hall/2-27 Aug (not 14). £12-£17.50.

Dance worlds collide! This dynamic show is packed with energy as stars from your favourite dance reality shows take centre stage. Tommy Franzen, Alleviate, The A-Team Corporation, Brosena and more familiar faces from shows including Got To Dance, So You Think You Can Dance and Move It Like Michael Jackson join forces for the biggest dance fusion Edinburgh has ever seen! Watch as Latin meets lockin’, jazz joins jump jive and contemporary goes Celtic! This feel-good production celebrates the world of dance, building to a spectacular finale. GET TICKETS


6:00pm. Josie Long: Romance & Adventure. Comedy. Pleasance Courtyard/1-27 Aug (not 18 & 19). £10-£12.50.

If ScotsGay were casting the next series of Channel 4’s 10 o’clock Live, Josie Long would be at the helm. Her mix of whimsy with unashamedly left wing satire delivered Long an Edinburgh Comedy award nomination in 2011. Many are saying that 2012 will be her year.  GET TICKETS


6:00pm. Susan Calman: This Lady’s Not for Turning Either. Comedy. Underbelly, Bristo Square/1-27 Aug (not 13). £10-£12. lgbt

Readers of ScotsGay Fringe coverage over the years will already know that we adore the gay Weegie, Susan Calman. She’s been flexing her satirical muscles on the News Quiz and HIGNFY regularly and it shows. Shooting from the hip in her most personal and political show yet, This Lady’s Not for Turning Either will be a real Fringe highlight.  GET TICKETS


6:00pm. Suzi Ruffell: Let’s Get Ready to Ruffell. Comedy. Pleasance Courtyard/1-26 Aug (not 13). £8-£11. lgbt

Young lesbian comic,Suzi Ruffell, is bringing her hotly anticipated debut show, Let’s Get Ready to Ruffell, to Edinburgh. Ruffell opens the door on her inability to grow up, her social ineptitude and desperate need to fit in.  GET TICKETS


6:05pm. Stewart Lee: Carpet Remnant World. Comedy. The Assembly Rooms/2-26 Aug (not 13 & 20). £12-£15.

We’ve raved about the husband of comedian Bridget Christie enough already. Just go and see Stewart Lee. GET TICKETS


6:15pm. Edward Reid: Living the Dream One Song at a Time. Cabaret. Assembly George Square/2-15 £9.50-£11.50.

The Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist brings you an intimate performance, telling you the real story of Edward Reid. Beginning backstage just at the point before singing live on Britain’s Got Talent, this is a retrospective journey through Ed’s life to his successes. Filled with funny tales, poignant moments and larger than life characters, we invite you to get to know the man that Britain came to love. GET TICKETS


6:15pm. Michael Workman: Mercy. Comedy. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug (not 13). £8-£10.

After taking home the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Comedy, Michael Workman will bring his highly acclaimed show Mercy to the Fringe. In 1960s Cuba a man is exiled for criticising Castro’s regime. Pushed out to sea with nothing but a pile of cabbages, Augustus must conquer his fears to return home. This is a comedy about family, love and strength. Workman’s gothic and honest observations and philosophies make him one of the more unique performers in Australian comedy. He doesn’t shy away from ‘difficult’ topics, nor does he simply ‘toe the line’.  GET TICKETS


6:25pm. Mr Braithwaite Has a New Boy. Theatre. C Aquila/2-27 Aug (not 13 or 20). £7.50-£11.50. lgbt

Out Cast Theatre presents the gay comedy, Mr Braithwaite Has a New Boy. Harold, a well-to-do but lonely older gentlemen, takes up with young street prostitute, Johnny. “With everyone after a slice of the pie, someone’s bound to get it in the end… You’ll never look at a choc-top in the same way again”. Adoption, inheritance, a raunchy rent boy and “one stressed-out pussy”.  GET TICKETS


6:25pm. Twentysomething. Theatre. Spotlites @ Merchants’ Hall/2-19 Aug. £6-£8. lgbt

Who are these people? Zoe’s a slag, Michael’s gay as anything, Patrick’s a cock, Jess is wasted, Kate’s clueless and Will… Poor Will. Yes, you know them. We all know them. They’re ever lurking. Set in their hometown, the old gang get together for a night of reminiscing, drinking and fun… Who do they think they’re kidding? GET TICKETS


6:30pm. Lady Celeste: Exploring Down Under! Cabaret. The Street/4-14 Aug. FREE. lgbt

Lady Celeste Luminary is exploring down under! Having just returned from a 20 something year hiatus from the stage, she returns bigger, better and more beautiful than ever! Global icon from Orange, Australia, Lady Celeste is a true dime-a-dozen who epitomises glamour, class and sex. Serving it all up with her fiery tongue, and miraculous voice, she must be seen to be believed. This is the closest you may ever get to a true Hollywood god on


6:30pm. Luke Wright: Your New Favourite Poet. Spoken Word. Underbelly Cowgate/22-26 Aug. £9-£11.

Luke Wright has been ScotsGay’s favourite poet for years.  Expect thigh-slapping acerbic wordplay and bawdy bar room ballads as our MC introduces you to a cast of greedy politicians and boozy ne’er-do-wells. Meet Jeremy, the public schoolboy who draws penises on everything, kung-fu fighting French copper Jean-Claude Gendarme, and witness the world’s first b-movie set in Brentwood. GET TICKETS


6:30pm. Rookie Mistakes (Ethan Addie). Comedy. The Street/15-25 Aug. FREE. lgbt

Meet Ethan Addie – a young and gay Australian hot mess that identifies with Beyoncé, but not the gay community. Leaving home at 17, dropping out of a chemistry degree at 19, moving to London to inadvertently live with a rent boy, his first love (Jehovah’s Witness) breaking up with him by texting to say he needed to be tested at 22 – and finally ‘settling down’ in queer-friendly Melbourne, or so he thought… This anti-camp rising star has made a lot of Rookie Mistakes in his time; learn more in his Edinburgh Fringe début. FREE


6:35pm. Dirty Blood. Theatre. theSpace on North Bridge/3-18 Aug (not 5 & 12). £6-£8. lgbt

The lifetime ban on gay men donating blood changed to 12 months in October 2011, but what does it mean for gay men who want to save a life? Inspired by a true story, Dirty Blood explores the effect the ban has on one family who are struggling to deal with leukaemia. This is the first play from Scottish playwright, Calum Fleming. GET TICKETS


6:40pm. Overexposed: A Slightly Awkward Peep Show. Comedy. Fingers Piano Bar/4-18 Aug (not 6, 13 & 14). FREE. lgbt

Straight from a sold-out run in the US City of Brotherly Love, three performers standing at a crossroads of sexuality come together to perform a funny and remarkably revealing, Overexposed: A Slightly Awkward Peep Show. Whether it’s coming out… as straight – or questing for the elusive orgasm, their brutal honesty is your awkward peep into Jamison Foreman, Jennifer MacMillan and Daniel Student’snaughty bits.


6:45pm. The Lady Boys of Bangkok: Carnival Queens Tour. Cabaret. Meadows Theatre Big Top/4-26 Aug. £15-£25. lgbt

The Lady Boys of Bangkok are an entertainment institution like no other. Pulsating with latin beats of fiesta, infused with chart-topping sounds. Add laughter, surprises and you have the unforgettable party that is the lady boys, returning with their new show as part of the Carnival Queens tour. Comedy cabaret at its most magnificent!


7:00pm. Aaron Twitchen: Quarter Life Crisis. Comedy. Southsider/4-25 Aug. FREE. lgbt

As 20-nothings leave University they are facing a world with no jobs, no hopes, no Woolworths. The futures bleak. Where we used to dream of becoming Doctors and Politicians young people now dream of becoming reality stars and Kerry Katona’s nipple tweaker. Few of these dreams are ever realised. Enter hot gay stand-up, Aaron Twitchen. Too young for a breakdown, too poor for therapy.


7:00pm. Going Green the Wong Way. Theatre/Venue 13. 19-25 Aug. £5-£8. lgbt

Who said environmentalism was serious? Going Green the Wong Way is the US public media/marketplace/radio commentator Kristina Wong’s comedy about her triumphs and pitfalls in sustainable living. She tracks her journey in the green movement from young environmental martyr to the patron saint of carless Los Angeles living. (Also at 10:30am 4-12 Aug).  GET TICKETS


54. 7:20pm. Nggrfg. Theatre. theSpace on the Mile/3-18 Aug (not 5 & 12). £5-£7. lgbt

Nggrfg is set to be one of the most talked-about productions of 2012 as audiences struggle to pronounce the name of the show which merges two of the most offensive and controversial words in the English language. Written and performed by award-winning Canadian writer/actor Berend McKenzie, the show is a gripping, true, often funny exploration of the twin evils of homophobia and racism. GET TICKETS


7:30pm. Carl-Einar Häckner: HandLuggage. Comedy. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-27 Aug (not 13). £8.50-£10.50.

Swedish oddball meets superstar, Carl-Einar Häckner appeared at the Fringe a few years back, with sexy circus outfit, La Clique. A regular on Swedish television for the last nine years, he’s now treading the boards to critical acclaim all over the world with his live show. Edinburgh can once again marvel at this Swedish sorcerer as he performs underwhelming feats of magic, sings completely ridiculous songs and proves that foreign accents are almost always funny.  GET TICKETS


7:30pm. Craig Hill: Jock’s Trap. Comedy. Underbelly Bristo Square/2-27 Aug (not 13 & 20). £11-£14.50. lgbt

Possibly the campiest, cuddliest gay in Edinburgh, Craig Hill returns for his 850th year of entertaining gays and Blue Rinsers at the Fringe. His committed, sell out audiences love Craig – and he loves us back – even if the love is returned with a trademark barbed comment. Hilarious,  provocative, cheeky and full of fun energy.  GET TICKETS


7:30pm. DeAnne Smith: Livin’ the Sweet Life. Comedy. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-27 Aug (not 14). £8-£10. lgbt

Last year DeAnne Smith made such a good impression on the public and critics alike, that the Canadian born lesbian has returned for another go.  This year she takes a satirical look at what it really means to be filthy rich.  GET TICKETS


7:30pm. Paul Foot: Kenny Larch is Dead. Comedy. Underbelly, Cowgate/2-26 Aug (not 15). £9.50-£12. lgbt

Paul Foot returns to Edinburgh with a brand new show that will delight and amuse his connoisseurs. His description of his show follows but, as anyone who knows him is fully aware, this bears little or no direct relevance to what he will ultimately perform. Here it is anyway: “Deep within the sinking sands of the Perspex jungle of youth, in the forgotten nebula of nothingness, comes an objet d’esire: a trombone fruit. Needless to say, it’s another warm year.”  GET TICKETS


7:35pm. Hi-de-Homo! Musical. C Chambers St/12-18 Aug. £5.50-£11.50. lgbt

Set in a holiday camp of yesteryear, expect their usual variety of magical musical styles including Irving Berlin, Elton John, The Smiths and Lady Gaga, show-stoppers from favourite productions and their famous brand of homo humour. This summer, let the boys of London Gay Men’s Chorus Ensemble put the camp into your holiday! GET TICKETS


7:35pm. Jen Brister: Now & Then. Comedy. Just the Tonic at The Caves/2-26 Aug (not 14). £7-£10. lgbt

The openly gay Jen Brister earned a rare five star review from ScotsGay’s Fringe editor, Martin Walker, last year. According to latest reports, for 2012 she’s somehow managed to produce a show that’s even better! Wow.  GET TICKETS


7:45pm. An Evening With Samantha. Cabaret. The Street/4-25 Aug (not 8, 14 & 20). FREE. lgbt

Following the sell-out success of her Sunday Night Supper Clubs at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club and the Dalston Boys Hall, Samantha brings herself to Edinburgh with stories, games, guests and just a little bit of burlesque. Details of each evening’s guests can be found at


7:45pm. The Ginge, the Geodie & the Geek. Comedy. Just the Tonic at The Caves/2-26 Aug (not 14). £8.50-£12.

The Ginge, the Geodie and the Geek are working hard this Fringe. Graeme Rooney, Paul Charlton and Kevin O’Loughlin return to Edinburgh for a forth year, (fresh from filming their new BBC pilot) to bring you a brand new hour of truly uplifting silliness, surrealism and 80’s anthems. Performing the show twice daily there’s now no excuse to miss the biggest selling sketch show at the Fringe. GET TICKETS


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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Hot 100 8pm – 9pm

8:00pm. Andrew Doyle: Whatever it Takes. Comedy. Just the Tonic at the Coves/2-26 Aug (not 14). £6.50-£7.50. lgbt

Andrew Doyle, of-course, is a firm ScotsGay favourite. He’s been gigging as a stand up for just three years, but he stormed the fringe in 2011 with his début solo show directed by Scott Cappuro.  He’s keeping mum about this year’s hotly anticipated follow up, but we know to expect a good time from one the UK’s premier  gay comedians. Loved by the critics and the public alike – we urge you to find out why.  GET TICKETS


8:00pm. Bob Downe: Smokin’. Comedy. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug (not 14 & 23). £10.50-£14. lgbt

Robert Xavier Pamplemousse Downe (aka Bob Downe)- Australia’s Clown Prince of Polyester – was top of the Edinburgh pops in 2011 and now he’s back by popular demand! Direct from blitzing Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Adelaide Fringe, you’ll laugh yourself silly as you sing-along with Mark Trevorrow‘s unique creation.  GET TICKETS


8:00pm. Mister Meredith’s Christmas Crack. Cabaret. Le Monde/4-25 Aug (not 13). FREE. lgbt

Songs! Jokes! Stockings! There’s a party in Mister Meredith’s Christmas Crack and you’re invited. Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas: shopping, drinking, shagging, telly and drugs. Musical tales of random lays, peculiar diets and Doctor Who – all those things that make the winter holidays special, but with added summer!


8:00pm. Friday Fundraiser. Cabaret. New Town Bar/3, 10, 17, 24 Aug. FREE. lgbt

The Friday Fundraiser does exactly what it says in the title – helping raise money for Scottish sexual health outfit, Waverely Care.  Coordinator, Stephen Martin is keeping tight lipped about the line up for now, but judging by previous years we can expect the cream of the Fringe. And it’s free. We’ll see you there!


8:05pm. Mickey & Judy. Cabaret. Space Cabaret @ 54/3-25 Aug (not 5, 12 & 19). £8-£10. lgbt

Mickey and Judy is a hilarious musical memoir, chronicling Michael Hughes’ childhood obsession with Judy Garland and his journey from psychiatric ward to off-Broadway. With anecdotes from his doctor’s charts detailing his childhood propensity for cross-dressing and a musical score that borrows from Broadway classics and the Judy Garland songbook. GET TICKETS


8:05pm. Three Tall Women. Theatre. theSpace@Venue45/4, 6, 8 &10 Aug. £6-£8. lgbt

In Three Tall Women, a ninety-year-old woman reflects on her life with a mixture of shame, pleasure, regret and satisfaction. She recalls the fun of her childhood and her marriage; when she had an overwhelming optimism for her future. Yet she bitterly recalls the negative events that resulted in regret: her husband’s extramarital affairs, the death of her husband, and the estrangement of her gay son.  GET TICKETS


8:10pm. Hannah Gadsby: Hannah Wants a Wife. Comedy. Gilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug (not 13). £8.50-£10.50. lgbt

Australian lesbian, Hannah Gadsby returns to the Fringe with two shows for 2012. The clue to the content of the first, Hannah Wants a Wife, is in the title. Let’s hope  she finds a missus in Edinburgh and cheers up a bit. GET TICKETS


8:10pm. Kev Orkian in Concert: The World’s Favourite Foreigner. Comedy. theSpace @ Symposium Hall/13-25 Aug.£8-£10.

Back in Edinburgh for the third time with an all too limited Fringe run, the leading piano playing comic Kev Orkian will this year explain why he’s the world’s favourite foreigner. If you’ve never seen him perform, check out his website for some quite spectacular musical clips.  GET TICKETS


8:15pm. Al Pitcher: Tiny Triumphs. Comedy. Guilded Balloon Teviot/1-26 Aug. £8.50-£10.50

Kiwi Al Pitcher returns to the Fringe after a five year absence with his delightful new show Tiny Triumphs. In this show, Al reflects on how sometimes, the small things that we achieve in life can be the most important. How when we look back, it can be some of our more modest achievements that really shine through and make us what we are. Using his signature combination of fast-firing gags, and silly tales, you can look forward to an hour of laughter, with razor-sharp wit and quirky stories from this zealous and gifted performer.  GET TICKETS


8:15pm. Dusty Limits: Post-Mortem. Cabaret. The Counting House/2-19 Aug (not 6 & 13). FREE. lgbt

Phrases like ‘rare and unique talent’ abound at the Fringe but Dusty Limits is the genuine article. To have him perform as part of the Free fringe shows just how far this festival within a festival has come. Be warned, you’ll probably want to put the entire contents of your purse in his collection bucket after the show. Expect sex, drugs, swearing and singing. Turn up


8:15pm James Acaster – Prompt. Comedy. 8:15pm. Pleasance Courtyard/1-26 Aug. £8.50-£12.

James Acaster’s show last year was one of the best on the fringe. If you haven’t seen him yet, you’d be a fool not to this year. He’s a natural comedian – one of those stage presences that is instantly likeable. Moreover, he has strong material to back it up. If you want some guaranteed laughs, you should add his new show to your diary. GET TICKETS


8:15pm. Jo Caulfield: Thinking Bad Thoughts. Comedy. Stand Comedy Club1/1-26 Aug (not 13). £9-£10.

Imagine the bitchiest, most caustic drag queen and then trap him in a women’s body. Add a strong dose of well crafted and intelligent material and you get Jo Caufield – one of the very best comics around.  Need we say that gay men love her? GET TICKETS


8:20pm. The News at Kate 2012. Comedy. Ciao Roma/4-25 Aug (not 14). FREE.

The News at Kate used to be one of those shows that seemed far too good for the Free Fringe – then the Free Fringe got really, really good.  Kate Smurthwaite’s annual satirical show returns for another year in which she explores ‘the news, being in the news, and being on the news’.


8:30pm. Alternative Sex Education. Cabaret. The Bongo Club/3-17 Aug. £6.50-£9.50. lgbt

‘Lashings’  is everyone’s favourite queer feminist burlesque collective – but you already knew that. In this year’s Fringe show they’ll be sharing their stories of an Alternative Sex Education. Expect tales of terrible teachers, songs about sub-standard shags, and plenty of alternative perspectives – delivered with lashings of wit and charm. This isn’t about imposing a different set of standards; it’s about expanding the realm of what’s possible. It’s as easy as ABC (that’s Asexuality, BDSM, and Consent). GET TICKETS


8:30pm. Loud & Proud Choir. Music. Stockbridge Parish Church/25 Aug. £9-£12. lgbt

Edinburgh’s own LGBT choir entertains festival goers for one night only. Beautiful a cappella renditions of traditional Scots songs and modern classics. Featuring, amongst many other talented performers, ScotsGay Magazine editor, John Hein. GET TICKETS


8:30pm. Panga. Theatre. Hill Street Theatre/2-26 Aug (not 14). £9-£13.

Lucy’s life is not what Lucy had expected. Lucy is not happy. But her life is about to be put into perspective by an unexpected visitor from her childhood… Following 2011′s sell-out hit Hex, (***** ScotsGay) Edinburgh company Strange Town returns to the Fringe with more uniquely skewed dark comedy theatre. From the pen of the brilliant Tim Primrose. GET TICKETS


8:30pm. Simon Amstell: Numb. Comedy. The Bongo Club/20-26 Aug. £15-£16.50. lgbt

Is Simon Amstell the most successful openly gay comedian working today? Fresh from gigging in New York City, USA, the ‘Do Nothing’ and ‘Grandma’s House’ star returns to Edinburgh with his sell-out show, ‘Numb’ GET TICKETS


8:35pm. Stephen Bailey & Zoe Iqbal: Subject to Change. Comedy. Bar 50/3-12 Aug. FREE. lgbt

Manchester born comics Zoe Iqbal and Stephen Bailey reunite in Edinburgh in, Stephen Bailey and Zoe Iqbal – Subject to Change.Comic actor,Zoe, performs a reverse strip tease as she combines burlesque and comedy – including a discussion of how she deals with Racist bikini waxers and polar bear asylum seekers. Meanwhile, Stephen tells all about being dragged up by his Northern parents, Ronald and


8:50pm. EastEnd Cabaret: Notoriously Kinky. Cabaret. Underbelly Cowgate/2-26 Aug (not 13). £9-£11.

Armed with an arsenal of musical instruments from piano accordion to musical saw, and lauded as the cult hit of Edinburgh Fringe 2011, the debauched double act are fresh from sell-out performances at this year’s Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival. GET TICKETS

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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Hot 100 9pm – Midnight

9:00pm. Confessions of a Grindr Addict. Theatre. Assembly Hall/2-26 Aug (not 13). £10-£12. lgbt

Those gay and bi man amongst us with Smart Phones might well be aware the app, ‘Grindr’. In Confessions of a Grindr Addict, we follow Felix (Gavin Roach) as he shares his secrets about sex and love, whilst preparing for the rarest of things – a real date.  GET TICKETS


9:00pm. Jim Jefferies: Fully Functional. Comedy. The Assembly Hall/2-26 Aug (not 13). £15-£17.50.

Another comic with a strong gay following is Jim Jefferies. His straight talking, direct humour is frequently called offensive by people who don’t understand stand-up comedy. His popularity with gay folk is entirely down to the fact that he’s really very good. Even amongst the gay community he divides opinion though – for example, is he better with or without the goatee?  GET TICKETS


9:00pm. The Lady Boys of Bangkok: Carnival Queens Tour. Cabaret. Meadows Theatre Big Top/4-26 Aug. £15-£25. lgbt

The Lady Boys of Bangkok are an entertainment institution like no other. Pulsating with latin beats of fiesta, infused with chart-topping sounds. Add laughter, surprises and you have the unforgettable party that is the lady boys, returning with their new show as part of the Carnival Queens tour. Comedy cabaret at its most magnificent!  GET TICKETS


9:05pm. Hard Core Pawn, with Mick, Lewis & Shaun. Theatre. theSpace on the Mile/3rd-8th Aug (not 5). £5. lgbt

Defiantly comes Hard Core Pawn, with Mick, Lewis and Shaun.  The show explores aspects of living with a disability, giving the audience a reflective, emotive look through the eyes of working disabled performers. Whilst exploring disability, the performance will also explore every day challenges that we all encounter.   GET TICKETS


9:15pm. Stephen K Amos: Work in Progress. Comedy. Stand Comedy Club3/2-26 Aug (not 8, 13, 14, 20, & 21). £10. lgbt

When Stephen K Amos is truly on fire, he is one of the very best in the business. Take a sneak peak at his next show, with this ‘work in progress’.   GET TICKETS


9:30pm. Monstrous Acts. Theatre. C Aquila/2-27 Aug (not 13 & 20). £6.50-£10.50. lgbt

In 1440 Frenchman Gilles De Rais was burned and hanged for the suspected deaths of almost 400 boys. Monstrous Acts is the powerful re-imagining of the last days of one of history’s most horrifying killers and his search for redemption through the love of another tortured soul. Poetic, erotic and moving, Australia’s, ‘Out Cast Theatre’ present a visually stunning story of two men who – faced with their impending deaths – find love and forgiveness in each others’ arms.  GET TICKETS


9:30pm. Tenderpits. Theatre. Underbelly Cowgate/2-26 Aug (not 13). £8.50-£10.50. lgbt

Written and performed by Anthony Johnston, Tenderpits uses a unique combination of stand-up, physical theatre and performance art to spin a dazzling narrative about immigration and magic. On the back of a mystical moose, a young gay wizard journeys from the wilderness of Canada to New York City – where he buys a gun, crashes a Broadway production of Three Sisters, befriends an illegal Mexican immigrant and goes on a psycho-sexual rampage.   GET TICKETS


10:10pm. Knickerbocker Glory! Cabaret. SpaceCabaret @ 54/3-25 Aug. £8-£10.

Keris, Catherine and Brooke are known collectively as the Sundaes, the larger than life trio who offer stunning vocals, hilarious comedy and outrageous costumes. Their latest show, Knickerbocker Glory!  promises to be an absolute hoot. We at ScotsGay are looking forward to getting to know these larger than life ladies a whole lot better – can you keep a secret? So can we! You’ll have to wait for SGfringe issue 3 for more details! In the meantime, go see the show! GET TICKETS


10:30pm. Jonny Woo: Wonder Woo-Man. Cabaret. Assembly George Square/1-26 Aug (not 13). £10-£12.50. lgbt

Jonny Woo is the ‘Tranny Superstar’ who previously gave Edinburgh audiences the brilliant ‘Night of a Thousand Jay Astons’ and ‘International Woman of Mr ‘E’’. It’s good to have the hard working Jonny back – this year in a modern cabaret featuring his latest creation, Wonder Woo-Man. Expect surreal, intelligent character comedy in drag from a master/mistress at the top of their game. GET TICKETS


10:30pm. Who’s Your Daddy? Theatre. Assembly Hall/2-26 Aug (not 13). £11-£12. lgbt

Who’s Your Daddy? is Johnny O’Callaghan’s critically acclaimed comedy, based on the true story of his struggle against all odds to adopt a Ugandan orphan.  No one expected the single, gay, out of work actor to ever become a father – but a documentary shoot in Africa turned into a nine-month adventure during which he found a son… and discovered himself.  Johnny’s adopted son is a Tutsi. His family fled the Rwandan genocide into Uganda, where his adoption by a single man has set a precedent.    GET TICKETS


10:35pm. Dana Alexander: Breaking Through. Comedy. Underbelly Bristo Square/1-27 Aug (not 13). £8.50-£10.50.

What the average Brit may see as everyday can perplex an outsider. The last year has been a momentous one for Britain from media scandal to national riots. Breaking Through is an international perspective on said events and British life in general. Because in the end it’s always a laugh innit? GET TICKETS


10:45pm. Andrew O’Neill is Easily Distracted. Pleasance Courtyard/1-27 Aug (not 8 & 14). £9.50-£12. lgbt

Lets hope that transvestite comedian and borderline ADD sufferer Andrew O’Neill manages to stop looking at Slayer videos on YouTube long enough to write another very funny, very odd show. GET TICKETS


10:45pm. Michael Pope is Gay for Pay. Comedy. The Phoenix/2-26 Aug (not 5, 8, 15, & 22). FREE. lgbt

Michael Pope sold his successful US midtown bike messenger company to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a filmmaker. Out of money and with only half of a terrible film in the corner (opposite the piles of unpaid bills), he desperately scanned the back of the Village Voice where he found the ad: ‘Men. Phones. No Sales’. Michael Pope is Gay for Pay.


10:45pm. Splitting the Bill: Michael Workman & Tommy Little. Comedy. Gilded Balloon/4-26 Aug (not 13). £8.50-£10.50.

They’re a long way from home so two of Australia’s funniest are Splitting the Bill fresh from sell out seasons at the Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Perth Festivals. They may not have been doing this long, but they know what they’re doing. So, if you’re up for a late night laugh and you’re not sure who to choose, why not choose two for the price of one as Michael Workman and Tommy Little are Splitting the Bill.  GET TICKETS


10:50pm. Magic Faraway Cabaret. Cabaret. The Voodoo Rooms/4-25 Aug (not 13). FREE. lgbt

Hosted by Dave the Bear, Claire Benjamin and Mister Meredith, Magic Faraway Cabaret presents a different enchanted world every night with a mash-up of themes such as Banarnia, Doctor Who Does Dallas, Steviewonderland and Tina Turner Prize. With its nightly Raise a Dead Celebrity spot, this is inventive, entertaining and intelligent cabaret that changes nightly so you can come again and


11:05pm. Strip Search. Theatre. SpaceCabaret@54/3-25 Aug (not 5 & 19). £8-£12. lgbt

Homo Promos present the return of the superb 2011 Fringe hit, Strip Search. Squaddie is a stripper with a fantasy military act. In a previous life he was a real soldier serving in Iraq. He tells his life story within the frame of a real-time strip, as fantasy and reality collide. Featuring the stunningly strong actor Damola Onadek GET TICKETS


11:15pm. Briefs. Cabaret. Underbelly, Bristo Square/1-27 Aug (not 15). £9-£15. lgbt

Briefs slams together a beef-caked and disorderly line-up of Australia’s award-winning mischief-makers in a circus-infused variety show for the not-so-faint-hearted. Host Shivannah, love-child of the ringmaster and bearded lady, leads a ragtag team of skilful buccaneers in a contortion of vaudeville, burlesque, dance and clowning. Raw and savvy, a mix political conscience, theatrical rule-breaking with heaps of clever parody and good old fashioned entertainment. GET TICKETS


11:40pm. Scott Agnew: Tales of the Sauna. Comedy. Stand Comedy Club4/2-26 Aug (not 13). £6-£8. lgbt

Scott Agnew is an openly gay Glaswegian, with a story to tell – and, by all accounts, a filthy one at that. Last year ScotsGay critic, Martin Walker wrote, ‘Imagine the gay son of Amy Winehouse and Billy Connolly. He is the antidote to Craig Hill’s light campery’. This year Angew takes us into, ‘the little known world of the gay man’s sauna – a tradition going back centuries…’   GET TICKETS


12 Midnight. Gay Straight Alliance. Comedy. The Pheonix/19-26 Aug. FREE. lgbt

Gay Straight Alliance is a comedy show for fags and friends! USA based LGBT comedians Veronica Elizabeth and Kenny Neal host a stand-up comedy performance offering gay and straight perspectives – and everything in between – from the popular monthly show at the historic Stonewall Inn.  Kenny says that he was bored of being just another gay, so he became a writer, comedian and actor dedicated to dispelling stereotypes and proving that straights and gays are equally awful.


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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Interview with David Mills

David Mills

Interview by Clare Finney

David Mills is smart casual.  I mean, literally, he is smart casual, with no tie and a soft white shirt unbuttoned at the top.  Well, no shit Sherlock, you’re thinking, it’s the name of the show.  Under normal circumstances I’d agree with you – but the thing with David Mills is, he is “always, always, always, always smart”.

“Always,” he says again – as if, perhaps, I had missed the point and mistaken his smart casual attire for what he normally wears.  Today is an exception because it is “so warm”.  Though half ten at night, it is still pleasant enough to sit outside the theatre discussing Mills’ debut fringe show – the preview of which we have just seen him perform at the Canal Café Theatre – and comedy in general, on which Mills holds some strong opinions; and with the small but voluble reaction of the audience behind him, and the excitement of the fringe to come, he’s on a roll.

First in the firing line are young, naïve stand ups.  “All these 22-year-olds getting up and complaining about their lives and how they’re so awkward…” he shrugs despairingly.  “I mean, God bless them.  I love them, but I also want to say “tell me what you think!”  It’s one of the reasons, he says, he struggles with Twitter.  He doesn’t talk about himself on principle – and if he’s on a bus tweeting and not observing people he’s concerned.

After all, nigh on half of his material is premised on public transport and public affairs.  Though American by birth, he has lived in London since 2000, easily long enough to mock the buses.  Indeed it is the subject of his opening skit.  Having felled both the Queen and the weather with one stone – “the Jubilee, what a tragedy” – he uses the speculation that the whole thing ended in a night bus home to launch into a joyous tirade against the network.

“People are so mean on the tube!  Sitting there all huddled thinking ‘fuck you’.”  He sniffs.  “We on the buses are far more generous with our rage.  ‘Fuck you!’  (He spreads his arms wide.)  ‘Fuck you!’  It’s far more giving.”  He grins.  Three minutes, and he’s dealt with the material that many a stand up could dwell on for hours.

Seen here on the page I’m conscious this sounds aggressive – and, in a way, it is.  Yet in reality watching Mills live is far more endearing than you’d expect.  You cannot help but like him: his grin, his bitchiness, his honesty with regards being a gay, style-obsessed American.  Living in Bethnal Green, for example, he finds its dress code there a continual source of joy.  “The population is half Islamic, half students there.  Everyone is wearing pajamas!”  Again, I might have deemed it aggressive – had it not been qualified by both its delivery, and by our chat after the show.

“You know, I actually love that long tunic over a blazer look,” he enthuses.  “Tom Ford once said the best dressed man was Hamid Karzai [the president of Afghanistan], and I agree with him.  But I’m my mother’s son and I’ve been brought up to get dressed.”  In order to do so, he must spurn his pajamas, don a suit, and, if he goes out in the evening he must dress again.  No wonder he was so surprised by the informality when he came here.  “There’s a lot of unspoken rules in the US you don’t get here.  You’d never see someone in a blazer and a T-shirt at a wedding there, for example, whereas here there is always one guy in the photos”.  It doesn’t annoy him, but it makes for easy comic fuel.

That said, if there is one area where style bothers Mills more than any other, it is in comedy: for while the material can be anything, it is nothing without the frills.  “I can’t sit for an hour if they aren’t saying something with style” he sighs.  “Scott [Capurro] has style, Lee Evans has a style – I’m not sure I like it but at least it’s there – but so many don’t, or just don’t think it through – something which, regardless of whether you agree with his assessment of others, Mills does to extremes.

He wears the tie.  He gestures – not to excess, but he certainly uses his hands.  His delivery is eloquent, and most notably, takes place atop a stool.  For this Mills cites two reasons: the first historical – he used to do cabaret, he stopped because he couldn’t think of any successful cabaret stars who weren’t Dita Von Teese –the second, stylistic.  “It’s more conversational – more like a couple of chicks sitting round just talking.”  In the show itself he sums it up beautifully as, “you’re all looking comfortable, I’m going to get comfortable too.”  There’s a sense of complicity about the move – the way, leaning forward cross-legged, he lets us in on the joke he’s making.  Nevertheless, while the stool’s a leveler, there’s no doubt his sights are set on higher things.

“David Mills is headed for the big time” runs the top quote on every sheet of promo material, and indeed that’s what his intention clearly is.  “Some day I’d love to play in a massive big arena on a little stool.  Just me, in a spotlight saying ‘Hey’,” he muses.  “It’s very Chuck Brown, who I’ve been spending a lot of time with on YouTube.”  Catching my blank look, Mills translates for me: “You know the new crooner Willie Moon?”  I nod.  “Well like that – although when it comes to comedians, Dave Allen was really the one for sitting down, in a dapper suit, his whiskey in one hand.”

An Irish comedian best known for his missing finger, Allen is a key source of inspiration to Mills – not for the drink habit (Mills is on lime and soda) but because he is so smart.  “I distinctly remember watching him when they showed British stuff at home” he recalls.  “I’m a big fan of the old school.  It’s a good look” – and it is one he is emulating with success.

That said, however, his homage is skin deep.  Mills’ style and stature might be “old school” but his substance is most firmly on the pulse.  He reads the papers.  He watches the news.  He treads on toes – gay marriage, Islam – and makes it funny.  He may not know a word of Cheryl Cole, but he deploys the latest gossip to hilarious effect.  The show still needs work – “I need to polish it.  And I still haven’t done that gay marriage joke to a gay audience, which I should try.  I need to try that,” he confesses – but after all: a preview is a preview.  Come Edinburgh you can be sure Mills will rise to the occasion admirably – although, of course, he will remain sat down.

David Mills is Smart Casual is on from the 2nd to the 27th August at The Hive.  All tickets are free. 

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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Gavin Roach

Confessions of a Grindr Addict

Tells us about you Fringe play, Confessions of a Grindr Addict.
Confessions of a Grindr Addict introduces the audience to the ever loveable yet highly-emotional character Felix.  The play tells the story of Felix and his impending date. A real date! But it’s a date with a difference. So why is he freaking out?  It’s been over a year since Felix has been on a proper date and he can’t help but wonder: “What does a guy actually do on a date that doesn’t involve sex?”  Confessions of a Grindr Addict is a comical, intimate and at times awkward journey through the gay dating world as Felix shares his secrets about sex, love and the odd fetish… or two.

How did the play come about?
I’ve wanted to try my hand at writing for a long time but everything seemed to come out very See Spot Run, so after many a late night I just decided to write what I know and at the time it was Grindr and my addiction to it. After writing and performing a short ten minute version I worked on expanding the story and the character and entered it into the Sydney Fringe and the rest, as they say, is history.

How personal is the play to you?
Very! The play is based on my adventures and experiences, though they are heavily dramatized. Felix is the name I use on my Grindr profile; he is kind of my alter ego. He’s the one that gets to have all the wild and sassy fun while Gavin is left with the shame and phone bill.

The play won the 2011 Sydney Fringe Festival’s Award for Excellence.
The award was so unexpected but such a huge honour. When I wrote the play I thought that only my friends and selected family members (not my parents) would come and see it but I was so blown away by the audience turn out and the support. Receiving the award was the icing on a very delicious cake.

Have Smartphones and the internet changed the way gay men meet?
Definitely! I deleted the app for a month once and had no idea what do to. I had totally forgotten what life was like before the online phenomenon came along. I think there are pros and cons to online and smart phone dating and while it’s fun and adventurous, one should always remember not to take it too seriously and not to be afraid to still approach that cute shy guy in the corner of a coffee shop or bar. Who knows, he might be the man of your dreams or the man of your afternoon at the very least.

What is the secret to happiness?
A Smartphone full of battery life ready for a whole day of Grinding! There’s nothing worse than having your phone die on you mid Grind.

Have you been to Edinburgh before?
No this is my first time – and let’s just says that I am more than a little ‘pants wetting’ excited!!! I have listened with jealous ears to all my friend’s stories and can’t stop looking at all the pictures of the past years. I’m trying to stay calm but I find myself randomly giggling with anticipation during the day.

What else do you plan to see at the Edinburgh Fringe?
My list of “Must See” plays is rapidly growing as I look over my guide each day. Of course I will be cheering on my fellow Best of Sydney Fringers, Keira Daley (LadyNerd) and Ali Kennedy Scott (The Day the Sky Turned Black) and I am so excited to check out the productions of 1984 and A Clockwork Orange. Both look amazing and wonderfully engaging. But apart from those I am really looking forward to taking chances on plays and seeing productions I’d not normally get a chance to see.

Confessions of a Grindr Addict
Assembly Hall
Mound Place
2nd – 26th August (not 13th), 9pm (1 hour)
Tickets £10/£12
Phone booking: 0131 623 3030
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Edward Reid

Edward Reid

Tells us about your brand new Edinburgh show Living the Dream One Song at a Time
People know me as the nursery rhyme guy and for changing the lyrics to songs.  I get people shouting Humpty Dumpty to me in the street and the first time I nearly burst out crying thinking that I am so going on a diet! But then I realised this was there way of telling me they like what I did on TV. In this show the music to some well known and loved songs have been changed and you will hear some old favourites done in a different way – think Liza Minnelli singing Snap’s Rhythm Is A Dancer! It’s a cabaret based around my life so far and crammed with songs that have been important and that represent a specific time in my life. Although I come for a small town in Scotland I think the show has something that will resonate in people from all over the world. It’s about growing up. I’m sure everyone will see a bit of themselves in the songs or story.

You started singing relatively late in life.
I did yes.  When I was younger we didn’t have drama classes and singing and dancing weren’t encouraged. To learn a trade and to become a bricky, welder or plumber was more expected. Manual work – oh the thought!

Did you enjoy the experience of participating in Britain’s Got Talent?
I loved every minute. It was an emotional roller coaster but I cherished every moment and enjoyed the challenge. It taught me a lot about myself and it was a great experience for my friends and family who got a buzz from it.

You were born in Coatbridge. Do you still live in Scotland?
Coatbridge born and bred and although moved to Glasgow five years ago I’m never away from the place! I teach a drama group there (nifty fifty’s) and all my family are all still there.  I also like to go to Coatbridge for my weekly food shop and always bump into an auntie or old friends.

You’re actively involved in several charities. Tell us about them.
I am the patron of the Ups and Downs which is a theatre group for people with Down syndrome and their siblings. It’s a wonderful charity and they work hard all year round in preparation for their annual show and I am inspired every time I see them. I dare anyone to come to a show and not be a fan for life. I also work with Aberlour which is the largest solely Scottish children’s charity and released Christmas EP to raise funds.

What is the secret to happiness?
I am a self help junkie – don’t get me started. I think you need to like yourself and look at yourself as a work in progress. Don’t be hard on yourself and have dreams. I could go on and on!

What else do you plan to see at the Edinburgh Fringe?
People have been contacting me on facebook and twitter to let me know what they are doing so there are lots of things I want to see. I have lots of friends performing so I will of course be supporting them. I want the full Fringe experience so I’ll be outside with everyone else promoting the show, a theatre experience in itself! My cabaret is all about sharing with the audience so I want to meet them beforehand.

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?
I live in the West of Scotland which means that going through to Edinburgh is always a treat. I like walking around then looking up and seeing the castle. I love the accent and after every visit come home with an east coast twang! There is nothing to hate about my capital. I love it.

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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Mitch Benn

Tells us about your new Edinburgh show Reduced Circumstances.
Erm, it’s about a bunch of things but I guess the main “thread” is about my weight loss; I caused a bit of a reaction at Edinburgh last year because in the first half of last year I took ten stone off and it was the first time a lot of people had seen me since.  Everyone was on at me to do a show about the weight loss LAST year but I pointed out that it was premature; I’d only just taken the weight off and I knew the hard part was going to be KEEPING it off so I told everyone that if I was still relatively slim this year I’d do the weight loss show THIS year, cos then I’d feel like I’ve cracked it.  But now we’re here, and I HAVE kept it off I realise that I haven’t cracked it and I don’t think you ever “crack it”; it’s something I’m going to have to work at forever. But that makes it sound miserable and worthy, which it’s not! It’s funny! That’s the plan anyway.

Is Radio 4’s The Now Show as fun to work on as it sounds?
It is indeed. More so.

You’re got a huge online presence – Twitter especially. Has the internet changed the way you work for the better?
Oh yes.  It enables you to keep in touch with your public and wherever possible, make them part of what you do.  Make them your collaborators rather than just spectators and consumers.

Who inspires you?
It’s often musicians rather than other comedians; I guess I straddle the two disciplines rather uncomfortably and I draw inspiration from both sides.  Anyone doing what they want to do with conviction.  I don’t know if you’ve been following Amanda Palmer’s adventures but she’s the most compelling live act on the planet right now.  Extraordinary.

Do you prefer classic or new Who?
I’m just so happy it’s been restored to its rightful place in the hearts of the nation’s children…

Are you still proud of the BBC?
Yes.  Increasingly.  And it needs to be defended more than ever.

Is Mitch Benn’s Crimes Against Music coming back soon?
Wouldn’t have thought so.  Think that idea kind of ran its course and while I do occasionally have ideas for radio shows they tend to be better suited to Radio 2 than 4 and Radio 2′s pretty much given up on comedy now so that’s probably that I’m afraid.

Mitch Benn

Of all the comics appearing on the Fringe this year, makes you laugh the most?
Do you know I’ve been so insanely busy I haven’t even looked to see who’s coming?  Shameful I know.

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?
Edinburgh was my home for years and it still feels as much like home as anywhere; I’m looking forward to that home coming feeling.  Hate? Not much.  Weather could be better, but that’s true of the whole UK right now.

If you had to date a man for the day, who would it be and why?
Well no-one I HAD to date, that would be tense and horrible!  I’d happily date a man as long as he didn’t think buying me dinner meant he got to, you know…  I’ve only ever been hit on by guys about three times ever and I found it very flattering, although it IS happening a bit more now I’m thin.  Honestly you lot, you’re so shallow…

Mitch Benn: Reduced Circumstances
The Stand 3
28 York Place
2nd – 26th August (not 13th), 3pm (1 hour)
Tickets £10
Phone booking: 0131 558 7272
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Mel Giedroyc

Mel Giedroyc

Tells us about the plot of ‘Slice’
“Slice” is a dark comedy about three sisters who have reunited in their childhood home in Scotland. Their mum is in a coma offstage. Secrets, revelations and regrets unravel as these three very different characters play out their stories in the kitchen. The sisters were all named after cakes and their mother always insisted on afternoon tea at three thirty sharp every day. The middle sister, Victoria, has looked after their sick mother for years, on her own, and her ritualistic baking of a Victoria sponge every day is now done with more than a whiff of slightly crazed OCD. The action starts as the butter and sugar is being creamed, and the play ends with the baked cake being eaten by the three sisters – the action of the play therefore follows the plot of a recipe and a Victoria Sponge is baked before the audience’s eyes at every performance.

It was first performed as part of ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint’ at Oran Mor?
Yes. I’d performed in Vagina Monologues in Glasgow and friends had told me I had to go to Oran Mor. I was completely bowled over by the place. I found it really exciting that 38-odd new plays were produced here every year.

This is your first foray into serious playwriting. What made you take it up and how did you get started?
It’s something I’d really wanted to do for years and years but was too lazy or scared, or a combination of the two, to embark on. It was David MacLennan at Oran Mor giving me a stiff whisky and telling me to go for it, then giving me a deadline, which gave me the boot up the backside that I needed.

You’ve written for others, including, ‘French and Saunders’. How does writing ‘Slice’ compare?
I found the process totally absorbing and addictive, once I’d got over the whole fear factor of actually writing a full-length piece. I’ve written tons of sketches and the odd half hour thing, but never something like this before. I just had to plunge in I suppose. The weather was absolutely rubbish after Christmas, my kids had tonsillitis and I just holed up at home and bashed out a first draft between dispensing antibiotics and Calpol. I absolutely loved doing it. I’ve got several more on the brew in my head.

Mel and Sue

You’re most well known on television for your double act with Sue Perkins.
We’ve just finished Series Three of BBC2’s “Great British Bakeoff” which means that we work and hang out a lot together which is fab. Next year marks the rather dubious TWENTIETH anniversary of the Mel/Sue double act. We are talking about putting something together for the stage together for 2013. As they say (and I hate this expression) …watch this space!!

Who are your biggest influences and who inspires you?
It sounds cheesy but my family is my biggest influence. And by that I mean the whole damn crazy lot of them – Mum, Dad, brothers, sisters, my kids, husband, and nieces and nephews. And David Maclennan at Oran Mor. And my comedy partner Sue Perkins. And there’s a guy called Chris Luscombe (he’s a heater director now) who I saw perform when I was sixteen, and watching him convinced me that comedy was the right home for me.

Do you plan to see anyone else at the Fringe while you are here?
I have five nieces and nephews in five different shows at the Fringe this year. Most of my week up there will be spent seeing them (and cooking for them no doubt).

What next for Mel Giedroyc?
I’m going to write another play for Oran Mor in the autumn, I have a comedy drama in development with the BBC, series 4 of Bakeoff next year, and who knows, maybe a cheeky little live show with Sue will emerge too!

‘Slice’ by Mel Giedroyc
Gilded Balloon Teviot
Teviot Row House
1st – 26th August (not 13th), 1pm (1 hour)
Tickets £8/£10
Phone booking: 0131 662 6552
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Toon from the Lady Boys of Bangkok

Angkookrat Rawangnam (Toon to his friends) from the Lady Boys of Bangkok

Tells us about yourself.
My name is Angkookrat Rawangnam – but to my friends I am known as Toon. Like many of the Lady Boys although my name has no meaning in the Thai language it has a very pleasant sound in our native tongue.  I come from Pattaya, 70 miles (112km) south east of Bangkok. I am the youngest of five children and was raised by my mother and father.  My father is a fisherman and my mother is a teacher.

Did you have a good childhood?
I was happy child growing up – my mother and father were caring and thankfully we had a little bit more money than many people growing up in Pattya. However when I became a teenager I realised I could not relate to boys of own age.  I wasn’t interested in typical male pursuits such as kickboxing, football and martial arts so began to feel more and more isolated. I kept hoping that I would feel less confused and less lost but it didn’t happen.

When did you first think of yourself as kathoey?
(Kathoey or Kathoei is a Thai term that refers to a transgender or third gender person)
At 16 I began to consider myself female full-time. I always had an interest in dressing up in my mother’s clothes and wearing make-up but it wasn’t until my late teens that I thought I might be kathoey. Boy’s games never really interested me I was just happier doing my own thing. At college I studied drama and it was an eye-opening experience as for the first time I met other boys who felt the same as I did. This was a great reassurance for me. For the first time I didn’t feel alone. I had never discussed my feelings with my parents – although I thought they might understand and indeed they probably had their suspicions – it didn’t feel comfortable. Once they found out they quickly accepted me for who I am though so I wish I had had the courage to tell them directly.

When did your parents discover your ‘secret’?
It was through one of my aunts that my mother and my father found out that I was a Lady Boy. In my final years of academic study I used to drive to Pattaya with some friends and we would visit one of the Lady Boys cabaret shows.  The Lady Boys were so beautiful and had such perfect features and figures that I felt very jealous.  I knew that if I was to be a Lady Boy I would want to look as beautiful.   Because I had made friends with some of the cabaret artistes they put me forward for an audition.   I had never had any professional dance training and I really only agreed to do it because I wanted to learn how the Lady Boys applied their makeup. It is such a skill.   I got a job in the chorus and had to learn to dance and all about stage movement and deportment. I had been combining my life as a student and as a cabaret dancer for about a year when on one of my visits home (still disguised as a boy) one of my aunts came in and confronted me and my parents with the fact that I was a Lady Boy because someone she knew had been to the show in Pattaya and seen me on stage! I don’t know who was more shocked, my parents at finding out I was no longer the son they thought I was or me for having my secret revealed. When the dust settled my parents was absolutely fine. For me it meant a lot that I no longer had to hide a secret.

How did you become a member of the Lady Boys of Bangkok?
I was appearing in cabaret in Pattaya when I heard that there might be an opportunity to appear in the Lady Boys of Bangkok UK tour.  I immediately went to Bangkok and was lucky enough to be selected to join the tour. It is a wonderful opportunity as this is the only Lady Boys cabaret show west of Thailand and its international reputation is second to none.  It is a great honour to be in the show not only because of the exacting standards demanded of the performers but also because of the genuine warmth and appreciation of the audiences in Britain.  Our UK tour is a long one – lasting several months.  We travel together and wherever we are appearing for a season – as at the Brighton Festival, or Manchester, or the Edinburgh Fringe – which is the largest arts festival in the world – we stay together as a family in rented accommodation.  Being together is very special for us as we cook for ourselves – always Thai food – and can chill out in the privacy of our own space. Any problems that any one of the group may encounter can be shared and resolved.   Sometimes however, like in any family, there are disagreements – but these are soon resolved or forgotten. All of us have one single desire – to be the best at what we do and to entertain our audiences like they have never been entertained before.   We are all very proud of the way we look, the costumes we wear and the show we present.

The Lady Boys of Bangkok: Carnival Queens Tour
Meadows Theatre Big Top
The Meadows
4th – 26th August, 6:45pm & 9pm Mon-Fri. 4:30pm, 6:45pm & 9pm Sat-Sun.(1hr45m)
Tickets £15/£25
Phone booking: 0131 667 0202
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Michael Workman

Michael Workman

Tells us about your brand new Edinburgh show ‘Mercy’
Mercy is the story of a young Cuban dissident in the 60s, who critisises Castro and is exiled in a fantasy limbo world involving cabbages.

60s Cuba isn’t a usual backdrop for a comedy show.
Good. I wouldn’t want to watch anything usual and neither should my audience.

How political is the show?
It depends. You could very easily think of it as a little fable about fatherhood, or it could be a scathing indictment of modern culture. The political involvement is really up to the audience member.

Have you performed at the Edinburgh Fringe before?
Yes, last year I performed my show ‘Humans are Beautiful’ which was about a talking dog.

How does your native Australia compare to Scotland?
In what way? Scotland is markedly more Scotland-y.

Who inspires you?
Musicians mostly, and people who just do things fearlessly.

What is the secret to happiness?
It’s a secret.

What else do you plan to see at the Edinburgh fringe?
I plan on seeing sleep. And curry. And whatever show I have time for in between those two things.

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?
Love the people, hate the weather. I’m sure I’m not alone there.

Michael Workman: Mercy
Gilded Balloon Teviot
Teviot Row House
1st – 26th August (not 13th), 8:15pm (1 hour)
Tickets £8/£10
Phone booking: 0131 662 6552
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Al Pitcher

Al Pitcher

Tells us about your brand new Edinburgh show ‘Tiny Triumphs’
It’s an Olympic year, not all of us will win, lose or even take part but we will pay for it. So I want to celebrate those less fortunate than us, I want the real winners to come to my show, the real losers as well, I want them to take part in a real Olympics. I will have peanut swallowing, key ring connecting challenges, holy shit I don’t know what I am creating; I just want to be the ringmaster of an hour of chaos.

You’ve been away for five years.
Yes for crimes I didn’t commit, I live in Sweden now, life is great, I have a son and I enjoy the life of a Viking:  waking up early, running to the icy waters naked and embracing life. It’s the best move I’ve ever made, the Swedes are fantastic people but it feels a perfect time to return to the Festival.

You won Sweden’s “Svenska Stand up Galan’s” Best Male Comedian prize.
It blew my mind, I perform in English but I have been accepted by the audiences and the comedy community have really looked after me. I began again, I went to open-mic nights and I feel I got my passion for comedy back and I thank the Swedes for that.

How does living in Sweden compare to your native New Zealand?
It’s green, cold as hell in winter, no Hobbits, but I love it. I lived in London for 10 years, it chewed me up and spat me out. I now live 20 minutes outside Stockholm and the lifestyle is just right, it’s Suburbia but I’m 40 so I’m happy with that.

What is the secret to happiness?
Love, I think when you find that person, you know how much shit, life throws at you, you have that person thinking about you. Oh and a good coffee, I drink so much of the stuff now, I’m like Renton of the caffeine world: Choose life. Choose a latte.

Do you consider yourself to be ‘quirky’?
Mate, to be honest I can’t believe I still do comedy; it’s something I never planned for. I started when I was twenty-eight and when it goes great it’s a bonus. I have always tried to be a nice, positive person, I thought comedy was full of assholes and I would hate to try and be that but in the end if you try to be as much yourself as possible you do okay.

Who are your biggest comedic influences?
My mum, my wife and now my son Frank. They make me laugh like I can’t believe; also watching people is a good thing as long as they don’t catch you.

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?

  • I hate going up Arthur’s Seat, I love coming down from Arthur’s Seat.
  • I love a deep fried Mars bar, I hate myself afterwards.
  • I feel the pressure and I love and hate it.

Edinburgh is August to me, it’s the Olympics of comedy, it’s a bubble of hope and glory. Get involved, I would love you for it.

Al Pitcher: Tiny Triumphs
Gilded Balloon Teviot
Teviot Row House
1st – 26th August, 8:15pm (1 hour)
Tickets £8.50/£10.50
Phone booking: 0131 662 6552
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Carl-Einar Häckner

Carl-Einar Häckner

Tells us about your brand new Edinburgh show Hand Luggage
It’s a show with comedy, magic, music and an Ikea display.  And reeeeal good tricks and a love song (in a way to get me more personal). I wanted to do a show that fits in your hand luggage. I also reflect on how it is to be away from people you care and love while travelling. I play harmonica, and show a Swedish view on things.

You went down a storm at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival earlier this year.
It was great fun. I love Melbourne. I love the audience. It’s great to go to the other side of the world to be with that audience. It’s the same audience as in Sweden, they get my flavour of comedy.

How did you get started performing magic?
As a six year old I was captured by a trick my grandmother showed me in making the cap to a mineral water bottle disappear. That started something. I still want that first kick I felt and I’m still looking for the cap. I started to perform in public at 11 years old in the same park that I now do my variety show in Gothenburg in July, which I’ve done the last 16 years… I remember clearly that I loved the moment when I went from not knowing anything backstage to suddenly being on stage in the middle of this energy which was unexplainable. I had practised before in my mother’s living room for her girlfriends.

Tell us about your time with, La Clique.
I did guest spots in 2004. I then toured with them and did 180 shows or more. It was awesome fun and I loved the performers and their art. It was so present all the time, the fastest possible way to the audience, on a short amount of time, standing on a piano or in the circle. I loved it. Very inspiring.

How does your native Sweden compare to Scotland?
My town Gothenburg has nearly the same weather as Edinburgh. Swedes love the Scottish vibe, Whiskey and humour, ( if they get the accent). Henke Larsson played there also. Swedes respect Scottish visiting football fans for drinking all the beer in Henkes last game in Sweden already in the interval.

You’re very popular on Swedish television. Do you prefer TV or performing Live?
Live. I do that more. But I would also like to do a television show. I did a spin-off on Step toe and Son in 1995 which was awesome fun to be a part of. We wrote the four and half spin-off episodes with permission from the original writers, with me as a secret brother, because the old guy died. I show up after the funeral. I performed with Thomas Von Brömsen and it was a good fit. It was a very good experience. Sitcom can be fun to do.

What else do you plan to see at the Edinburgh Fringe?
I hope many colleagues and comedians. I want to see some theatre shows to and see things I did not expect.

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?
I love the atmosphere. The town is so special. To find a moment in the madness.
I hate pouring rain. Depressive damp wet everything and cold hands, carrying shit a long way for some piss reason you can’t see the reason for any more… hmm… experience talking there…

Carl-Einar Häckner: Hand Luggage
Gilded Balloon Teviot
Teviot Row House
1st – 26th August (not 13th), 7:30pm (1 hour)
Tickets £8.50/£10.50
Phone booking: 0131 662 6552
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Jen Brister

Jen Brister – pic by Idil Sukan for Draw HQ

Tell us about your new Edinburgh show ‘Now and Then’.
It’s a mixture of stand up and story telling – I need to tell you that because if I told you the truth (it’s basically a beige lesbian shouting at you in a darkened room for 55 minutes) you might not come. At 37 I am having an early mid life crisis as I try to figure out how I can stop being such a cynical malcontent… in short I’m looking to change. So, I go back through my life telling ‘hilarious’ stories and anecdotes about my childhood and adolescence to try and figure how I got to be the grumpy twat that I am today. There will be a lot of angst, it’ll be a bit like watching an episode of Hollyoaks, but with better acting and deliberate jokes.

Your last Edinburgh show was a big hit with critics and audiences alike, (including a rare 5 star review from ScotsGay). No pressure then!
I NEVER FEEL ANY PRESSURE AT ALL AT THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL. So, that’s just as well really. I think anyone who saw last year’s show will enjoy this one. It’s very different because it’s a lot more personal but if you like laughing ‘at’ someone for an hour, then do come.

On stage you often joke about your Spanish mum. Has she ever seen your act and what does she make of it?
I have never performed any material about My Mum on stage that she hasn’t seen or been told about. In fact my first ever show was called, “Me, My Mum and I” and was an hour dedicated to her. I gave her the script to read because she refused to watch it and she laughed out loud which was a relief. Over the years she has seen me do material about her and she always says, “Jennifer, I don’t speak anything like that…” To which I reply, “Of course you don’t Mum!” (She does.)

When you performed in front of Spike Milligan, is it true that he said that you’ve “a great pair of Bristols”?
Yes. I was a lot younger back then so I probably did. If he’d seen me today the response might be more along the lines of, “Nice Spaniels ears….”

How was Adelaide?
It was a lot of fun. I love performing in Australia everyone is weirdly upbeat which rubs off, even on a grumpy sod like me. I can highly recommend two months in the sun during British winter to anyone. Sunbathing in February takes smug to a whole new level. It was also great to break in my show because I was under no pressure to be reviewed, so could shape the show every night. Obviously Edinburgh is slightly different, it has to be the best it can be and as for the weather I’ll be packing my winter coats, boots and thermals.

Of all the comics appearing on the fringe this year, who makes you laugh the most?
Lots of comics make me laugh sometimes more off stage than on, because to be honest I’ve seen most comics sets several times over. But I would highly recommend folk go and see Suzi Ruffell, Dr Brown, Briefs, Sexy Time, Markus Birdman, Nick Helm, Comic Strip, Hannah Gadsby & Deanne Smith. All hilarious both on and off stage.

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?
I love performing my show, the oysters & well hung burgers and sitting in the Meadows should the sun ever make it out from behind the clouds. I’m less keen on troupes of teenagers performing Hamlet the Musical on the Royal Mile, being flyered for my own show and listening to that younger, better looking, more successful comic tell me how dreadful it is that they didn’t quite sell out on Monday night.

After asking last year, one of our reviewers still wants your phone number. Can she have it now?
Of course she can! It’s 000555778d67cnish99990776452. Don’t forget to use the Nigerian area code first.

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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Kev Orkian

Kev Orkian

Tells us about your brand new Edinburgh show ‘The World’s Favourite Foreigner’
The show is a compilation of comedy and music. It’s a journey through the eyes of my alter ego “The Foreigner” showing what I have been up to since my last visit to Edinburgh. It features comedy stories and original piano tracks upgraded from classical music.

How many Fringe shows is that now?
This will be my third instalment of “The Foreigner”

How did you get started as a pianist?
It was pretty much my mum’s dream to learn, but the lack of money meant no one would teach her, so she was adamant I would not have the same upbringing and started learning when I was 3 years old.

Are you a musician or comedian first?
Music is my first love, however I never learnt to be funny, I just was and used it in everyday life before getting paid for it.

Where is the grandest place you’ve ever performed?
I cant really put it down to just one place, I have had extraordinary opportunities, in the UK and overseas. Performing for royalty at Windsor Castle, selling out my one-man show in Hollywood, performing at Wembley, O2 and numerous concert halls such as the Sydney Opera house…they have all been wonderful experiences.

You’ve done a fair bit of acting too.
I started my career as an actor, performing in musicals, plays and TV commercials. I enjoyed touring numerous musicals in London and the UK from Fame, Me & My Girl, Happy Days and Boogie Nights. Play’s by Alan Ayckbourne, & Jim Cartwright, plus numerous TV commercials in the late 90s.

Who are your biggest influences?
I love and adore the talents of Victor Borge, Dudley Moore and Les Dawson. They have always been my inspiration when writing and performing comedy piano…

Tell us about your charity work.
I do lots of charity work throughout the year, however my wife Michelle and I are ambassadors of the NewKidz charity based in South Africa, which raises money, to develop and makeover run down orphanages and single parent establishments.

Of all the comics appearing on the fringe this year, who makes you laugh the most?
I don’t have a specific list of comedians that make me laugh, I just love natural comedy. Someone who can get on stage and just make you smile, take you on a journey and bring you back wanting more is good enough for me. Not enough performers have this talent.

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?
I love the buzz it creates with entertainment as a whole. The variety of entertainment you get to see is incredible and it creates energy around you. I can’t say I hate it, that would be to harsh but I hate flyering for my own show. Other shows I have no problem…but my own!!!! “please come and see me I’m amazing” Cant do it!!!

Kev Orkian: The World’s Favourite Foreigner
theSpace @ Symposium Hall
Hill Square
13th – 25th August, 20:15 (50m)
Tickets £8/£10
Phone booking: 0845 557 7475
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Interview with Susan Calman

Susan Calman

Two comedians in conversation.  Andrew Doyle caught up with Susan Calman the week before her civil partnership ceremony.

AD: So how does it feel to be getting married?

SC: Very nerve-wracking.  People don’t believe me when I say that making a speech makes me nervous because apparently I do that for a living.  I just hope I don’t cry.  I’m a terrible crier.  I’ve got a horrible feeling I’m going to weep throughout the whole thing, and my image as this feisty Glaswegian comic will be out the window.

AD: How long have you been together?

SC: Nine years now.  A long time.

AD: Do you think when gay marriage is legalised you will “upgrade”, so to speak?

SC: Without a doubt.  It’s something that I’ll say in my speech, that I hope one day I’ll be able to dissolve the civil partnership and get married.  Nobody needs to come to another ceremony, or give me another present.  Some people say to me that I should wait until the law changes to do this.  But there’s no guarantee it will change.  It’s 2012.  I came out in 1990.  Twenty-three years I’ve been waiting, and I don’t particularly want to wait any longer.  Even if the bill’s passed, it has to go through the Lords, so it could take years.

AD: A lot of gay people see marriage as quite a destructive thing.  On the other hand, it’s about the choice, isn’t it?

SC: Exactly.  You can only have a choice if you’ve got more than one option.  And at the moment the option is don’t do it, or have a civil partnership.  And that’s not really a choice at all.  Now that I’m going through this whole process it’s something I feel very strongly about.  The lack of choice that we’ve had.  The restrictions on the ceremony.

AD: What kind of restrictions?

SC: For example, when we were sorting out our ceremony, we were told that we weren’t allowed to walk down the aisle to “Let’s Get Married” by the Proclaimers.  And we’re not allowed to have the Pam Ayres poem “Yes I’ll Marry You”.  It’s all because you’re not allowed anything with the word “marry”.  So my sister came down the aisle to “Let’s Get Married” but I can’t.

AD: The idea of banning Pam Ayres is quite funny in a way.

SC: I know.  Of all the people to bloody ban.

AD: Do you think that with the introduction of equal marriage identity politics is now losing its relevance?

SC: Well I worry a little bit.  I was very political when I was younger.  A lot of us were who grew up through the whole Section 28 thing, because it was in our face.  And when I talk to some younger gay people about these things, they don’t seem to care much about politics.  But then I don’t think politicians are really connecting with the young.  You don’t need to put a baseball cap on in order to be honest with people.

AD: So you think it’s because young people have less to react against?

SC: Maybe.  But I also think that people are more inclined to read the internet and believe what they’re told rather than finding out about things for themselves.  If you’re an eighteen-year-old, with no prospect of a job or a career, is it easier to just accept it and carry on, or to get angry about it?  I would probably have got angry, but not everyone does.

AD: Maybe anger’s quite hard in a way.

SC: I think so.  And it’s also not necessarily the most fashionable thing to be political.  And after the scandals, there’s a lot of apathy in the political system in general.  So why would people invest in a system that essentially is corrupt at its core?  But young gay people should care about their political interests.  They should get angry.  When I read what’s written in the papers about gay marriage I have to calm myself down.  The Bishop of Paisley said that it would “shame Scotland in the eyes of the world”.  I think that’s disgusting in 2012.  I’ve been with my girlfriend for nine years.  I’ve paid taxes all my life.  I’ve not got any criminal convictions.  I am not a shame on my country, I’m just somebody who wants to get married.  It’s very simple, really.

AD: Much of the opposition to the legislation does seem to be religious in nature.

SC: Yes, but I’m very aware that not all religious groups feel like that.  The argument about equal marriage seems to me to be conducted with very broad brush strokes.  And it’s very important not to do that.  There are some Christians who are for it and some against it, and I think we need to keep sight of the fact that this is a very individual issue for a lot of people.   Members of my family who are Christians are coming to my civil partnership and have no problem at all about it.

AD: Isn’t the problem that when religious leaders say these things it appears as though they are speaking on behalf of a whole community?

SC: Of course.  But I think part of bigotry is seeing people as one big group.  It’s not exactly the same, but you could say something similar about female comedians.  There are those who think that all female comedians are exactly the same, when of course we’re all very different.

AD: It’s very strange to see so many articles recently asking whether women are funny or not.  Aren’t we over this by now?

SC: There’s at least one a week.  I think the best argument I’ve read is from Tina Fey in her book Bossypants where she says that although she doesn’t like Chinese food, that doesn’t mean she writes articles saying why she doesn’t like it.  What would be the point?  I don’t like all male comedians, but I don’t write articles about that.  I had a gig cancelled recently because they had a woman on last month and no-one liked her.  If you don’t like female comedians, that’s fine.  But don’t assume we’re all the same.

Susan Calman

AD: What would you consider to be the best and worst aspects of stand-up?

SC: The best is getting a reaction to something you’ve written that afternoon that you’ve been working on and people genuinely find it funny.  The worst is when you stand in front of a group of drunk people who just shout insulting things at you.  Sometimes they come up to you afterwards and say they thought they were helping.  The old adage that a comedian should be able to handle any room is entirely wrong.

AD: There aren’t many other jobs where people just go along to hurl abuse.

SC: There are none.  I’ve had friends come along to gigs really drunk and heckle me and I’ve not spoken to them afterwards.  Because I don’t turn up drunk at their workplace and shout things at them.  It happens sometimes at the festival too, when people buy tickets for your show without knowing who you are.  You spend a year working on a show, you spend a lot of money, and then someone comes along drunk and just shouts things at you.  It’s not the best.

AD: I saw you in a sketch show in 2008 called The Angry Puppy.  Is that something you’d like to do more of or are you focusing mostly on the stand up?

SC: I really enjoy sketch work and acting.  I’ve just been in a sitcom called Dead Boss which I loved doing.  And I’ve also recently done a children’s BBC show.  I’d love to do more of this kind of thing.  The Angry Puppy was a fantastic show and it always upsets me that nobody did anything more with it.

AD: You were a lawyer originally, weren’t you?

SC: For seven years, yes.

AD: I heard that you spent some time with inmates on death row in North Carolina.

SC: I won a scholarship when I was at university – because I studied American constitutional law – and I was able to go to Raleigh at the North Carolina appellate centre.  Sister Helen Prejean, who was played by Susan Sarandon in Dead Man Walking, came and spoke to us.  It was about getting sentences commuted to life without parole.  It wasn’t about letting people out, but saying that the death penalty was cruel.  So we worked with prisoners trying to get their cases appealed.

AD: So you sympathise with her perspective, presumably?

SC: I’ve always thought that the death penalty is absolutely wrong.  But I thought that I needed to test that belief by going over there and talking to the people involved.  I spoke to victims’ families as well as prisoners.  It was a tough summer.  I went to Provincetown afterwards and just hung out with lots of nice gay people, because being in North Carolina prisons was quite hardcore, very emotionally draining.  There I was, a twenty-year-old from Glasgow, sitting on death row behind a Perspex screen with a guy who had killed a lot of women.  But it was life-changing.  I still think it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done.

AD: So moving from that kind of work into stand-up must have been quite a stark transition.  Did you always know you’d eventually want to go into comedy?

SC: It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.  But I don’t even think The Stand in Glasgow was open in 1992.  I think these days, as an eighteen-year-old you can say I want to go into comedy, and there are courses and things like that.  But back then you went to university and you got a job.  And so that’s what I did.  And by the time I was in my early thirties I was an associate in a big law firm, and the next step was partner.  If I’d have taken that step I’d never have done anything else.  It was time to cut and run and see if I could make it work.  It was a very well-paid job, but in my first year of stand-up I think I earned something like £250.

AD: It can be quite dispiriting, can’t it?

SC: It is.  And it’s been a long, hard slog.  But it’s all part of the joy.  If you’re getting in to comedy to be on the television and to be famous then you’re in the wrong job.

AD: So would you say to young comedians in a similar position that they should just go for it?

SC: I think you need support.  If you are with someone they need to buy into it completely, or the relationship will fail.  You have to commit to the hell that will happen.  The terrible gigs, the heckling, the shitty remarks.  And, of course, spending fifteen thousand pounds to go to the Edinburgh festival.

Susan Calman

AD: Is there a theme to this year’s show?

SC: Yes.  It’s basically what we’ve been talking about in lots of ways.  It’s called This Lady’s Not for Turning Either.  It’s about getting married in 2012.  It’s the story of what’s happened throughout this whole process.  I’m trying to explain to people – in a humorous way – why it’s an important issue.

AD: So it’s quite a personal show as well?

SC: Very personal.  I talk about my relationship a lot.  I talk about my girlfriend.  I’m trying to normalise.  I’m trying to say “this is the just same as you”.  And for a lot of people who see my show I will be the first lesbian they’ve had any form of contact with.  We live in a community where we think everything is fine, but that’s not necessarily true.  People still aren’t coming out because they’re frightened.  So there’s a bit of a role there for somebody to stand up and say I’m not frightened of what you’re going to say to me, call me a dyke or whatever.  I’m out, I don’t care, but I’m still going to stand up and say what I think is important.  But it’s a very funny show.  Of all the shows I’ve done, this is my favourite.

AD: And what does your partner think about being mentioned in public?

SC: She’s used to it.  She comes to the festival every year, and there I am taking the piss out of her again.  She’s very good about it, actually.  After nine years, I’m quite a good judge of what will make her upset.  Or maybe not.

AD: And will you be out on the gay scene at all during the festival?

SC: It’s not for me.  I’ve not been to a club – straight or gay – in about eight years.  Now I’m almost an old married lady, I just don’t like it.  I’m short.  People are tall.  I get elbowed in the face.  It’s expensive.  I can’t dance.  I get quite grumpy, to be honest.

Susan Calman: This Lady’s Not for Turning Either
Underbelly, Cowgate
56 Cowgate
2nd – 27th August (not 13th), 6pm (1 hour)
Tickets £10/£12
Phone booking: 0844 545 8252
Online booking:
Andrew Doyle: Whatever it Takes
Just the Tonic at The Caves
The Rowantree Bar,  253 Cowgate
2nd – 26th August (not 14th), 8:00pm (1hour)
Tickets £5.50/£7.50
Phone booking: 0131 556 5375
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 19, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Otto Kuhnle

Tells us about your new show, ‘Ich Bin Ein Berliner’
This show is my first Solo Show on the Fringe so I’m very excited! It’s all about my experience of living in Berlin, told in a cabaret style. There are songs, crazy magic, I tell stories and do a Burlesque dance as an angel.

Berlin has changed a lot over the years.
That’s true, sometimes it’s funny to watch. There are parts of Berlin that you didn’t even know existed, and now they’re the number one place to go.

How does Berlin compare to Edinburgh?
Good question! To be honest I never compare them, because both cities are so different. Especially during the Fringe, you’re so focused on the Festival that you sometimes don’t appreciate the city around you.

How long have you been performing in the UK? What brought you to Britain?
I’ve been performing in Britain for 7 years now. The first gig I had was in London, at Pear Shaped in Fitzrovia. I’d met Brian Damage and Krysstal in Berlin, and they’d invited me to perform at their gig. That was the night I met Henning Wehn – in fact, he was the only person I met, because pretty much no-one else showed up. So one of my most significant nights in Britain, I didn’t even perform.

You sing, act, dance, juggle, play several instruments, perform magic tricks, as well as standup comedy.  Are you a born entertainer?
I don’t know if you can be born as an entertainer. Like you’ve just come out of your mother going “Hellooo!… Where’s my band?”. But in my family everybody sang and played musical instruments, with the exception of my father. He was a doctor.

Are you and fellow German and Henning Wehn just good friends? You look very good together…
Thank you for the compliment, but I always think it’s better to keep business and pleasure separate…

Of all the comics appearing on the fringe this year, who makes you laugh the most?
I’m not the best person to ask this but I like Liam Mullone with his crazy and absurd stories.

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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Jim Jefferies

Jim Jefferies

Let’s cut to the chase. What is it with all these gay fans you have? Are you a gay icon?

I did go to school and studied Musical Theatre, I was an opera singer, I know all the words to every Steven Sondheim Musical. I believe in gay rights and I protested for gay marriage in California and marched till my feet hurt at other numerous gay marriage protests in America. My belief is that ALL gays should get married so they can go through the same pains and misery us heterosexuals have to go through. As for being a gay icon I don’t believe I am but if you’re willing to label me one, go for it! I thought to be a gay icon you had to actually be gay and all I do is suck the occasional cock.

Tell us about ‘Fully Functional’

It’s kind of loosely based around me growing up or becoming more of an adult and living my dysfunctional life in a dysfunctional world. This will be the first year I hope that I won’t turn up to a show drunk. I have to work a lot of the daytimes writing my new sitcom and will also be editing my new DVD I filmed at the weekend. I also have a baby on the way so I need to get into practise of not getting smashed outta my head. The material is as always a mixture of religion bashing, long stories and the occasional misogyny.

A number of leading comedians are atheists, including Dara O Briain, Stewart Lee, Lewis Black and many, many others. Why do you think this is?

To be a great comedian I believe you have to be smart and believing in God makes you an idiot. It’s a pretty short and sweet answer but I can’t really develop beyond that. I can go int to the whole Science V Myth and you should really see Alcoholocaust or I Swear to God for most of my thoughts on this. Also check out Bill Maher, David Cross, Julia Sweeney, George Carling, Ricky Gervais and Robin Ince who I also respect when it comes to Atheists in Comedy.

Have you ever gone too far? Do you have a line you won’t cross?

Not really. There isn’t a line I haven’t crossed but that doesn’t mean I haven’t regretted some of the things I have said.

Jim Jefferies

Tell us about your forthcoming FX series ‘Legit’.

It’s a cocktail of all the best stories and stand-up I have been telling over the last ten years. I play myself and the two other main characters are my best friend (Danny Bakkedahl – Daily Show & Community) and his brother (DJ Qualls – Roadtrip & My Name is Earl) who has muscular dystrophy. There are a few pics on my instagram account and I will be taking photos throughout the filming and adding them to that if you want to see the debauchery that’s going into this show. A lot of people ask us to describe the show or compare it to another show and it’s really hard. I usually just end up saying… It’s not like anything you have send before and probably ever see again!

Is it true that at least 10 of your fans have your name tattooed on their bodies?

It’s not true. Eight people have my name on their bodies, two people have my face, one guy has the two J’s that I stand in front of on my DVD’s and another guy has a quote of one of my stand-up pieces. We actually recorded one guy having his tattoo live during one of our podcasts. Very funny!

This is your 7th Edinburgh Fringe. What do you like/dislike about Edinburgh and the Fringe?

I LOVE the fringe. It’s is something I love doing. I’m in the same place for more than a week, so it’s kind of like my home from home. It’s the longest I stay in one place for the longest amount of time, usually I’m on a plane going here, there or somewhere to do shows. I also get to see my mates I haven’t seen for ages, we’re all in the same town and we’re all more relaxed for it. I also love the Edinburgh Festival audiences and Edinburgh itself. It truly is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. This is one of my last Fringes though for a while. I’ll hope to be back in 2014 but I think realistically it won’t be 2015 until I’m back again. I’m also on tour from Aug 21st – Sept 17th.

Which comedians performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year make you laugh?

I’ll probably see a few of the Australians I missed in Melbourne. I heard Felicity Ward had a great show so I want to see her and Sammy J and Randy. Then Benny Boot who wasn’t in Melbourne this year but is definitely one of the finest Aussie exports from the last couple of years, he reminds me a little of Mitch Hedberg and Milton Jones so I will catch him at some point. I’d like to see Stewart Lee, Andrew Maxwell and Michael Winslow but I know they are on the same time as me so I will have to choose wisely which one to see on my day off. There’s probably a helluva lot more acts I’d like to see but won’t be able to as my show time is 9pm. But I will definitely have a laugh during the fringe. I always do!


Jim Jefferies: Fully Functional
Assembly Hall
Mound Place
2nd – 26th August (not 13th), 9pm (1 hour)
Tickets £15/£17.50
Phone booking: 0131 623 3030
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Andrew Doyle

Andrew Doyle

How would you describe your stand-up to those who haven’t heard of you?

I would say that I fuse comedy with a blend of contortionism, exhibitionism, tapestry and high-impact calypso, all with a distinctive East Los Angeles ghetto sensibility.  It’s not true, but that’s what I’d say.

Tells us about your new Edinburgh show, Whatever it Takes.

It’s based on a near-death experience I had in Suffolk.  Dying is bad enough, but dying in Suffolk would be just so embarrassing.  It’s such a banal place.

I got caught in this wet coastal mud by the River Stour, and I sank right up to the waist until I was unable to move.  I was in the middle of nowhere, the tide was coming in, and there wasn’t a coastguard in sight.  And I started reflecting on my life and all my many, many regrets.  So I’ve written a whole load of jokes about one of the most miserable moments of my existence.  It’s a form of therapy, I suppose.

How does it differ from last year’s critically acclaimed Crash Course in Depravity?

The title Crash Course in Depravity was a direct quotation from a review I’d got the year before.  The critic was openly offended by some of my material.  That’s fair enough, but my set was by no means depraved.  So I thought it would be a good idea to actually try to live up the label for my first solo show.

The venue got quite a few complaints apparently, but I think if you buy a ticket for a show with the word “depravity” in the title you’d have to be an idiot to be offended.  I’m not actually a depraved person, but for the purposes of that particular show it made sense for me to inhabit a depraved persona.  The show had to live up to its name.  There are too many shows in at the festival called things like Dirty Jason’s Perverted Alternative Sex Fest and you turn up and it’s totally tame.  Like some guy in a corduroy suit reading selections from Thora Hird’s autobiography.

This year’s show is a totally different animal.  There’s much more truth in it.  I’ll be interested to see how that comes across.

Do you care about reviews?

Not in the least.  But I remember every word.

Andrew Doyle

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?

I hate the hills.  I’m lazy, and I find sharp gradients offensive.

But I love meeting such fascinating people, which is inevitable if you spend a month at the biggest arts festival in the world.  For instance, in 2009 I was in a stand-up show on the Free Fringe with Ben Van Der Velde and Joleed Farah.  The singer Marsha Hunt came along to see it.  (She had a child with Mick Jagger, and was in the original West End production of Hair.  In fact Jagger wrote a famous song about her – as she so memorably said to me: “I’m brown sugar, motherfucka!”)  After the show we went for a drink, and she invited Joleed to smash up an electric guitar in her one-woman show Sex with Jimi Hendrix.  Hers was the most interesting and inspiring show I saw that year.  And her cover of “Keep the Customer Satisfied” by Paul Simon is just brilliant.  I always play it when audiences come in to my shows.

What’s your favourite venue to perform in?

The Stand.  There’s always a good line-up, the staff are great, and the audiences are comedy literate.

You’re already a successful playwright. What made you turn to stand up comedy?

I don’t see the two career paths as all that different.  Stand-up comedy is essentially a form of theatre.

Who have your influences been?

As a youngster I was very much taken with the work of the Chinese political dissident Wei Jingsheng, who was the first activist to denounce Deng Xiaoping (de-facto leader of China after the death of Chairman Mao).  I copied his haircut.

Any thoughts on the Olympics?

I have no interest whatsoever in competitive sports.  I consider football to be a form of madness.  I particularly despise the use of the pluralised personal pronoun when I hear people talk about the game.  “We beat Aston Villa three nil.”  No, you didn’t do anything.  You sat on a sofa eating Pringles and drinking cheap lager.  You can’t share in someone’s achievement just by watching it.  I mean, I’m a big fan of Kate Winslet, but I don’t go around saying, “Oh I was robbed of the Oscar for my performance in Titanic – that slag Helen Hunt got it”.  You’d think I was delusional.

Is Political Correctness dead?

Political Correctness is just another term for politeness, really.  It’s only right and fair that people should be able to go to their places of work and not be called a faggot or dyke or whatever.  It’s especially important in schools, because children aren’t so able to protect themselves from that kind of abuse.  There are tacit social contracts anyway in day-to-day life.  If there weren’t, we’d all be following our baser instincts, irrespective of the cost to others.  So no, political correctness isn’t dead.  Far from it.

Andrew Doyle

Straight comedians, like Jimmy Carr, often tell jokes at the expense of gay people, and other minorities. Can this be justified?

Definitely.  Who are we to say what a performer should or shouldn’t talk about on stage?  If I don’t like a particular comic, or what she or he is saying, I just don’t go to see them.  It’s that simple, really.

Like I said, stand-up is theatre.  And you can’t really apply guidelines about acceptable social behaviour to a theatrical performance.  That would be to take stand-ups at face value, which more often than not kills the comedy.  So if you’re going to complain about comics because of the sensitive nature of their material then you’ve missed the point.  If you criticise Jerry Sadowitz for being racist, sexist, or homophobic, you may as well have a go at Macbeth for his ruthless ambition.  It doesn’t make sense.

Ever had trouble with straight audiences?

There’s no such thing as a straight audience.  Heterosexuality is a hoax.

Andrew Doyle: Whatever it Takes
Just the Tonic at The Caves
The Rowantree Bar,  253 Cowgate
2nd – 26th August (not 14th), 8:00pm (1 hour)
Tickets £5.50/£7.50
Phone booking: 0131 556 5375
Book tickets online HERE
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Lucy Porter

Lucy Porter (pic by Steve Ullathorne)

Tells us about your brand new Edinburgh show ‘People Person’

It’s a show about friendship, but it also contains home shopping hints and at least one reference to Jedward. It’s on at The Stand, which is the first club in Edinburgh that I ever played at, back in the last millennium. So even though it’s a new show, it sort of feels like a homecoming. It’s on at 5.15 p.m. which is an excellent time because neither I, nor the audience, will be too drunk.

This is your 15th Edinburgh Fringe. You honestly don’t look old enough!

Oh you! I have been coming to the fringe for years because if you love the arts it’s the only place on earth to be in August. It has become more exhausting as the years have gone by, but I stay young by kidnapping students who are putting on plays in obscure fringe venues and drinking their blood. Sometimes their absence can go undetected for weeks provided no one buys a ticket to their show.

Edinburgh’s missed you for the last couple of years. What have you been up to?

I’ve written a trilogy of science fiction novels and two Oscar winning screenplays, edited and translated a collection of Tajikistani poetry, designed a new library building for Brunel University and directed a musical based on the life of Marie Curie.

Er, actually I’m just joking. I’ve been having children: Emily in September 2010 and John in December last year. Basically I’ve decided that in any given year I can either write an Edinburgh show or have a baby, and for 2012 I’ve decided to come to the festival and give my fanny a bit of a rest.

You’re a big hit with the LGBT community. Is it something you’re aware of?

Some of my favourite gigs are gay – Bent Double in Brighton and the Comedy Camp in London for example. Luckily my immense sexual magnetism is so powerful that it exerts its force over gays and straights alike – men, women, animals, even certain bacteria are irresistibly attracted to me.

Do you prefer working on TV, radio or to a live audience?

TV for the money, radio for the bookish charm, live audiences for the adrenalin rush.

Of all the comics appearing on the fringe this year, who makes you laugh the most?

Sarah Kendall makes me laugh the most in terms of both volume and frequency. I see more of her than any other comic because she’s my oldest friend at the fringe. We also had our first babies at roughly the same time, so we spend a lot of time together with our families during the festival. She’s the most brilliant comic, and to see her on stage you’d think she’s very witty and erudite, but off-stage we laugh mostly about stories involving poo. Our babies’ poo, our spouses’ poo, our own poo, it’s all fair game.

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?

I love the second-hand clothes shops (especially Armstrong’s for vintage cashmere) I hate the pan pipes players on Princes Street.

Lucy Porter: People Person
Stand One
Venue 5, 28 York Place
2nd – 26th August (not 13th or 20th), 5:15pm (1 hour)
Tickets £8/£10
Phone booking: 0131 558 7272
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Paul Boyd – Writer of Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory

Paul Boyd – Writer of “Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory”

“Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory”, is a great title! How did you come up with it?

It’s s just a string of words that made me laugh. I loved the idea that there could be something called a ‘Tit Factory’ – I mean, what goes on in there?  And that it would be

run by someone called Molly Wobbly.  It harkens back to the show’s origin, when I entered a competition that I didn’t want to win.

It was a ten minute entry to the Mackintosh Foundation and Eden Court Theatre’s, ‘Quest For a New Musical’?

It was a competition I entered back in 2005, in the hope of getting some work seen by the very influential judges they had.  You were meant to submit ten minutes of material from a new full length musical you had written, but I was so busy with other commissions that I didn’t have a spare, un-produced musical lying around.  So I wrote a ten minute musical, called “Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory” and made it sound like it was an extract from a longer show, and I submitted that.  I thought the title would make it un-commission-able, so I was sure I’d never have to write the rest of it.  But then I got a letter telling me that the show had been shortlisted, so I withdrew from the competition at that stage, and went on writing whatever I was then working on, and never really gave “Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory” another thought.  I assumed that that was the end of it and that the ten minute ‘extract’ had done its job and got me noticed by the judges.

What’s the show about?

It’s set in a town called Little Happening where three couples own three shops on Mammary Lane.  The town has seen better days, and the couples have seen better days.  Suddenly a stranger arrives, and his arrival in town has a kind of supernatural effect on the couples, and on the women in particular who suddenly start to think about their appearance and improving how they look.

Tommy Wallace as Kitten in “Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory”

How long have you been writing? What got you into it?

This year is my twentieth year.  The first musical I wrote was while I was still at University in 1992, and that show became very popular very quickly, so suddenly I had a career and producers were looking for the next show, then the next show, and so on.  I’ve been very lucky to have had so much work commissioned and staged over the years, both here in the UK and Ireland, but also in other parts of the world too – it’s amazing when you hear your own words and songs performed in another language, be that Danish, or Korean, or Japanese.  I still feel like I only started yesterday – but then I look up and suddenly I’ve been at it for twenty years, with eighteen musicals under my belt, many of them being performed regularly in various countries.

Who is your favourite writer?

If you mean writer of musicals, I don’t really have one favourite in particular.  I tend to admire shows irrespective of who wrote them, but then I might not like the next show that that particular writer does.  I like a lot of Alan Menken’s work, and Marc Shaiman.  I think that Scott Frankel has a very interesting musical ‘voice’, and of course like most people I admire some of the work of the big names like Sondheim and Lloyd-Webber.  We have a lot of fun with parodying some of those writers’ styles in “Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory”.

What other shows on the Fringe catch your eye?

l really haven’t had time to look through the brochure properly yet.  I want to see “The Boat Factory” at Hill Street Theatre, because that’s a fellow Northern Irish company and the only other production at the Fringe supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.  And there’s a show called “Desperately Seeking The Exit” at the Laughing Horse which is a writer telling the true story of having written a big West End musical that flopped, that interests me.  Apart from that, I’ll go and see anything that’s funny.  Stewart Lee is in the same building as us, The Assembly Rooms, but I’ve already seen his show in London – and it’s quite superb.

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?

I love Edinburgh – as a Northern Irish man who lives in London, Edinburgh feels a lot like home.  And the people are very friendly like the people at home, which is comforting.  I like the fact that everything is within walking distance.  I’ve never been during Festival before, so I’m looking forward to seeing the transformation that the City undergoes.  And I can’t wait for Edinburgh audiences to laugh along to “Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory”.

Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory
The Assembly Rooms
54 George Street
1st – 26th August (not 14th or 21st), 4:45pm (1 hour 30 minutes)
Tickets £11/£15
Phone booking: 0844 693 3008
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


Mister Meredith

Mister Meredith

Tells us about ‘Mister Meredith’s Christmas Crack’

Songs, stockings, jokes, games and beer*: all the ingredients for a very Merry Christmas. It’s part of the Free Fringe at The Monde, Shanghai, 8pm every evening except 13th when I’ll be observing Ramadan. Probably from a pub.

*beer not supplied, although buying lots in the bar will ensure a cracking good time and hopefully get you in a present giving mood by the time the hat comes round at the end.

Isn’t it a wee bit too early for Xmas?

It’s never too early for songs, stockings, jokes, games and beer. Falls bang in the middle of the year so let’s call it a snack bar of festivity to fill the gap between the big pig outs in December. Or an excuse to dress as a giant Christmas Cracker (make up your own pulling jokes).

Tell us about ‘Hairy Pretty Things’

It’s an hour of awesome music from Dave the Bear with a little help from me, interspersed with furry anecdotes at Fingers Piano Bar, 5.30 every day except Mondays. However in DTB’s words “It’s me banging on about Mariah Carey and Faith Evans and if I fancy anyone in the audience I’ll get my bum out, plus it’s all free, unless you fancy sticking a donation in my hairy bucket.”

Dave The Bear

What is Bearlesque?

Dave The Bear: It’s a big hairy homo homage to burlesque. It originated as a troupe which I joined back in 2008 but it’s since become a genre, spawning other troupes such as The Bears and The Cubs and solo performers like myself. Think fewer feathers, more KFC.

Tell us about ‘Magic Faraway Cabaret’

Magic Faraway Cabaret is a “party atmosphere” (thanks Russ) cabaret show at The Voodoo Rooms 10.50 every night except 13th, hosted by Dave The Bear, Claire Benjamin and myself, presenting a different enchanted world each night with a mash-up of themes: Banarnia, land of magic, wonder and fruit; Popeye-dol, the naughty nautical music fest; and Speakeasy Rider, a gin-soaked doobie smoking romp.

Every night features international burlesque and variety from the likes of Cherry Shakewell, Ivy Paige, Beatrix Von Bourbon, Audacity Chutzpah and Kiki KaBoom, and of course us getting our arses out in various demeaning costumes.

Who is your ideal guest?

Did you see Grace Jones at the Jubilee? That’s the kind of shit we’re after. I love the off-the-wall ones we’ve had like Fauxnique the female drag queen ballerina, or Lynn Ruth Miller, the burlesque granny: the ones that really interact with the audience and make you know you’re at a live show: anyone that entertains me without disappearing up their own fundaments.

Why did you choose the Free Fringe?

Who’s rich this year? In Edinburgh, where you want to go to at least 4 shows a day, £10 a ticket is beyond the means of most ordinary people, but they should be able to afford the price of pint (or more!)* It’s the only truly socialist version of the Fringe (all together now…  So come on, brothers and sisters…)

*Dave says he just wants Kerry Katona to come to his show and being in the Free Fringe is the only way he can get her there. I think he just wants to taste her prawn ring.

Of all the comics appearing on the fringe this year, who makes you laugh the most?

I like funny women. For originality and smarts you can’t beat the likes of Kate Smurthwaite, Grainne Maguire, Holly Burn or Lou Sanders. We actually stalked Lou for a couple of years. True.

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?

Love going up to the docks on my day off. Love being allowed to try new stuff without fear of offending a promoter. Love it that there’s ALWAYS someone drunker than me. Well, most of the time.

Hate flyering in the rain. Hate twenty something middle-class male comics with “messy hair” talking about anal sex with their girlfriends. Yes it is an obsession. Yes it does make you slightly gay. Yes, that’s okay. Next!

Did you really call Simon Cowell, ‘a big bender’?

Haha! Not in so many words. I sang a song for La Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent 2012 which just pointed out that his girlfriends were terribly well cast. Strangely enough they never televised it, although it might help his case a little if he slept with more women that weren’t gay icons.


Mister Meredith’s Christmas Crack
Le Monde
16 George Street
8th – 25th August (not 13th), 8pm (55 minutes)
Hairy Pretty Things
Fingers Piano Bar
61a Frederick Street
4th – 25th August (not 13th or 20th), 5:30pm (55 minutes)
Magic Faraway Cabaret
The Voodoo Rooms
West Register Street
4th – 25th August (not 13th), 10:50pm (55 minutes)


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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


The Ginge, The Geordie & The Geek

The Ginge, the Geordie and the Geek (pic by Steve Ullathorne)

Hello boys. Tell us about your new Edinburgh show.

It’s a brand new hour of truly uplifting silliness, surrealism and 80s anthems. Like every year it’s a show for everyone. It’s sketch comedy that the family, lads/ladettes and royalty can all watch, even the queen! It’s great fun with a surreal twist and as always our aim is to entertain and make people laugh not to make some sort of statement. Recently we did a preview in which we had a young guy come up after and say it was brilliant followed by two female pensioners asking ‘can we be be groupies?’

This you were a boy band, one of you would be black, one would be gay and one would be a drug addict….

Ginge would be black due to his absolute love of Motown and that he always wanted to be in the Jackson 5 which if you pop along to this year’s show you’ll see evidence of with the odd classic Motown move. The Geordie with his various skin care products, shopping problems and yoga obsession would be the gay member. Finally the drug addict would be the Geek as he’s engaged and with all the wedding talk this may be a possibility!

Who inspires you?

Big Train with their surreal genius, Billy Connolly with his brilliant working class take on everyday life and Morecambe and Wise who must be the greatest ever entertainers.

Do you write together as a group or go away and write stuff separately?

Well writing or creating as a group can be tough at times. So we start by writing individual ideas then we like to come together insult each other, write some collective stuff trying desperately to not punch each other and then picking out the best bits.

Tell us about the BBC pilot.

It was an amazing and surreal experience working at the BBC studios. We had a phenomenal time just bringing to life our characters, working closely with the director Mandie Fletcher who was great and has worked on some brilliant shows such as Absolutely Fabulous. It was performed in front of a live studio audience so I think we would be liars if we didn’t say there was the odd nerve flying about but the audience loved it right from the first sketch and the end product has had great feedback from some important folk so fingers crossed!

It wasn’t all fun and games though as we did have to do a few dodgy things for our art, the Ginge was unfortunate enough to land in wet horse manure whilst the Geordie and the Geek had to snog giant slimy salmon

You’ve supported the legend that is Johnny Vegas several times. What’s he like?

He is most definitely a character. On stage with Johnny pretty much anything can happen. A 20-minute set can become 40, he once bought a couple a night in a luxury suite in a hotel on stage in the middle of his set. A girl shouted she fancied the Ginge during his set so he got her on stage, got the Ginge back out so she could ask him out and give him her number. Off stage he is very down to earth and a great guy, he gave us a great quote from our first gig with him, after he watched our set, which was very nice of him.

Of all the comics appearing on the fringe this year, makes you laugh the most?

Ginge – It’d be Tony Law

Geordie – Just saw Josie Long’s preview and it was great

GeekNaz Osmanoglu

What do you love/hate about Edinburgh?

Ginge – I absolutely love the baked tattie shops, favourite is with haggis and coleslaw. I don’t however like the hills, knacker me out before a show!

Geordie – I love the festival and the opportunities it gives, almost ten years ago I got a fringe first for my first ever play and that helped me a lot. I hate the temptation of all the great takeaways, dam you salt and sauce!

Geek – I love the baked tattie shop too but I only get a small tattie and a large tuna portion. I hate the erratic rain, I had to wear plastic shopping bags in my shoes last year to waterproof them.

The Ginge, The Geordie & The Geek – All New Show 2012
Jut the Tonic at The Caves
The Rowantree Bar,  253 Cowgate
2nd – 26th August (not 14th), 4:45pm & 7:45pm (1hour)
Tickets £8.50/£12.00
Phone booking: 0131 556 5375
Online booking:
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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in 2011/2012 Festival Archive


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